Monthly Archives: July 2008

>USSR2 File: Kremlin wraps up Vostok-2008 exercise; CSTO advocates convergence with NATO; Vice Premier Sechin in Cuba; Libyan PM in Moscow

>– How the Communist Bloc Drove Up the Price of Oil: 75% of World’s Reserves Controlled by State-Run Monopolies

– Cat’s Outta the Bag: Russia’s Citizen-Slaves Inform Pollster: Putin, Not Medvedev, Real Leader of Country

Today the Russian military’s multi-stage Vostok-2008 command-and-staff exercise entered its final stage in the Siberian Military District. The drill, carried out as an “anti-terrorist” operation, involved 8,000 servicemen and over 650 machinery units and was supervised by Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Nikolai Makarov. State-run Itar-Tass reports:

Vostok 2008 command post exercise in Siberia enters final stage
31.07.2008, 08.52

ULAN-UDE, July 31 (Itar-Tass) – The Vostok 2008 strategic command post exercise of the Russian Armed Forces in Siberia, on Thursday entered the final stage. The command bodies of the Siberian Military District at all levels are drilling the fulfilment of tasks aimed at ensuring security of transportation of hydrocarbons, prevention of terrorist attacks against civilian navigation, as well as tasks to liquidate terrorist groups, their bases and depots, the temporary press centre of the exercise told Itar-Tass.

“A number of units of the Siberian Military District of various forces have been involved in guarding security of important facilities and in settlement of non-standard situations on the ways of cargo transportation in eastern regions of Russia,” an official of the press centre noted. In addition, a number of new methods of moral-psychological support of troops with the participation of military psychologists are being practiced in complex.

Taking part in the Vostok 2008 exercise are more than 8,000 servicemen and over 650 machinery units. The strategic command post exercise in Siberia is conducted in accordance with the plan of training of the Russian Armed Forces. The exercise will last until August 1. Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Nikolai Makarov is in command of the exercise.

“The task of the exercise is to practice the issues of planning and organisation of measures aimed at counteracting terrorism, as well as neutralizing the aftermath of ecological and manmade disasters on the territory of the Siberian Federal District,” Ilshat Baichurin, the acting chief press officer of the Russian Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass earlier.

The exercise involves the staffs of branches and services of the Armed Forces, military units and army drafting/reserve management offices in Russia’s eastern regions.

In a related story, today Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov travelled to the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, where he met President Emomali Rakhmonov to address bilateral defense cooperation in Central Asia and the maintenance of Russia’s military base in the Not-So-Former Soviet republic. State-run Voice of Russia reports: “According to Serdyukov, the two leaders approved a bilateral defense cooperation plan for 2009. During his visit the Russian defense minister will visit the 201st Russian military base in Tajikistan. Russia’s Defense Ministry is planning to supply the base with new Russian-made military equipment and hand over the old weaponry to Tajikistan.”

In another related story, the neo-Soviet leadership is again showing its duplicitous adherence to a double-pronged strategy that consists of preparing for war against the NATO even as it holds out the prospect of peaceful East-West convergence. We have documented in recent days how Russia is using the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which is the military pact that undergirds the Commonwealth of Independent States, to establish a counterweight to NATO. For example, the neo-Soviet leadership is proposing joint military exercises with the communist-infiltrated Western Alliance, to take place in Armenia, site of the current CSTO exercise Rubezh-2008. State-run Voice of Russia reports again:

The post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization sees NATO as a potential cooperation partner and has no objection against plans for joint wargames of NATO and Armenia on Armenian territory in October. Senior CSTO executive Valeri Semerikov was speaking about this for the press on Wednesday. Together with Russia, Armenia is full member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The other members are Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

This two-faced policy is particularly deceptive in view of the back-to-back, communist-led protests against the NATO-Ukraine naval exercise Sea Breeze-2008. Pictured above: CSTO heads of state meet in Dushanbe in October 2007.

Meanwhile, the Moscow Leninists continue to bolster their revitalized links with Havana and Tripoli. Vice Prime Minister Igor Sechin is currently leading a delegation to Cuba, where the Russians were received by de facto Cuban Prime Minister Carlos Lage Dávila (pictured here), who also sits on the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba. Sechin also met Cuban government minister Ricardo Cabrisas. Together the two men co-chair the Soviet-Cuban intergovernmental commission, proving that ties between Moscow and Havana remain firm, despite the phoney collapse of Soviet communism in 1991. “Cuba is one of the key partners of Russia in Latin America,” intoned Sechin after meeting Cabrisas, and added: “The trading and economic relations of the countries should be brought to the height equal to political ties.” No doubt, too, notes were swapped over Washington’s reaction to reports in the Russian daily Izvestia–which is controlled by Gazprom Media–that Moscow is contemplating deploying its strategic bombers to Cuba. State-owned Kommersant Daily reports:

Russia to Step Up Trade, Investments in Cuba
July 31, 2008

Russia’s Vice Premier Igor Sechin, who is in Cuba on a working visit now, and his Cuban colleague Ricardo Cabrisas have deliberated on extending the trade and economic ties and investments of the countries, Granma edition reported. Sechin and Cabrisas co-chair the intergovernmental commission of Cuba and Russia.

Cuba is one of the key partners of Russia in Latin America, Sechin said after the talks, pointing out that the trading and economic relations of the countries should be brought to the height equal to political ties.

Oil, tourism, public health, nickel production, telecommunication and nanotechnology are the most promising fields for cooperation of Cuba and Russia, according to Cabrisas.

Russia’s turnover with Cuba was $363 million past year. It stepped up by 20 percent to above $207 million in the first half of this year. In 2006, Russia granted to Cuba the loan of $355 million to buy vehicles and fund the progress in energy infrastructure. In return, Havana undertook to buy three Il-96-300s and three Tu-204s in Russia.

During his tour to Cuba, that started yesterday, Igor Sechin will visit a number of facilities of that country’s economy and meet with Cuban leadership.

In North Africa Moscow guards its relationship with Tripoli, as demonstrated by Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi’s current visit to Russia, where he met counterpart Vladimir Putin. After securing assurances of Libya’s loyalty to the Communist Bloc, Putin declared: “We are committed to continuing cooperation in the military-technical sphere, among others, especially since the Libyan leadership has confirmed its interest in buying quality products from the Russian defense industry.” For his part, Al-Mahmoudi noted that the Libyan National Oil Corporation enjoys a “special relationship” with Kremlin energy giant Gazprom, a fact that we have previously reported, and invited Putin to visit Libya a second time. State-run Novosti reports:

Libya seeks arms deals, closer energy ties with Russia
17:55 31/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – Libya’s prime minister told his Russian counterpart on Thursday that his country plans to buy more Russian arms, and wants to step up cooperation in nuclear power as well as and oil and gas production.

Vladimir Putin said after hosting talks with Libya’s al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi: “We are committed to continuing cooperation in the military-technical sphere, among others, especially since the Libyan leadership has confirmed its interest in buying quality products from the Russian defense industry.”

The Libyan premier said the sides had agreed on specific forms of bilateral cooperation aimed at “strengthening the Libyan Armed Forces.”

The premiers discussed Libya’s plans to build a nuclear power plant and linked desalination facility, as well as Russian investment in the North African state’s oil and gas sector.

Al-Mahmoudi said the Libyan National Oil Corporation enjoys a “special relationship” with Russian energy giant Gazprom, and that the sides are engaged in active consultations.

He invited Putin to visit Libya in August to attend the launch of a $2.2 billion railway construction project.

The strategic role of the Communist Bloc’s state-owned oil and natural gas monopolies, like Gazprom and the Libyan National Oil Corporation, in dethroning private enterprise and sinking capitalist economies worldwide is evident in the following Time article. Journalist Tim Padgett writes: “From Mexico to China, more than 75% of the world’s oil reserves are controlled by national oil companies today. Of the world’s top 20 oil-producing firms, 14 are state-run. A blogger at the Heritage Foundation analyzes the effects of nationalization (socialism) on oil production and prices: “Another reason that nationalization can drive prices up is that state-owned companies tend to under-produce private ones, creating additional risk that long-term output will be lower. Finally, consolidation of oil companies into just a few nationalized firms, especially when those countries form cartels rather than competing freely on the market, will also drive up prices.”

Finally, in a public opinion poll, the results of which are no surprise to this blogger, Russians reveal that they are unconvinced that President Dmitry Medvedev is the real leader of their country. Responding to a question posed by the Yuri Levada Center–“Who holds the real power in the country?”–36 percent stated Prime Minister Putin, while only nine percent stated Medvedev. In short, even neo-Soviet Russia’s citizen-slaves are not fooled by the deception foisted on them and the world by Moscow’s Leninist masterminds. Tragically, they are powerless with respect to dislodging the shape-shifting, 90-year-old KGB-Red Mafiya-communist conspiracy in the Kremlin.

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>End Times File: CSTO begins second stage of Rubezh-2008 drill, Syria feigns peace with Israel, Olmert resigns, Sarkozy’s dreams of grandeur

>At Once Upon a Time in the West we chronicle, almost on a weekly basis, neo-Soviet Russia’s preparations for war against the Western Alliance. The Collective Security Treaty Organization, which embraces the “post”-Soviet space, has begun the second stage of its Rubezh-2008 command and staff military exercise in Moscow. State-run Voice of Russia reports today:

In Moscow a second stage of Rubezh-2008 command and staff military training exercises begins in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The participants are expected to elaborate on matters of giving military and military-technical assistance to the Organization’s member subjected to outside attack. Involved in the training exercises are some 4,000 servicemen, armoured troop carriers, heavy guns, aircraft, anti-missiles and communication units. The Collective Security Treaty Organization comprises Russia, Armenia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Since all political decisions carried out by the Russian government are subordinated to the long-range strategy of the still-active Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the recent appointment of Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak as ambassador to the USA should be analyzed in that light. Comrade Kislyak is Moscow’s tough-talking pointman on US National Missile Defense plans in Central Europe. On July 14 he was quoted as saying: “If we see the development of systems that could reduce our deterrent potential, our military will have to take steps to neutralize the threat. This will be decided by military specialists. We would prefer not to have to do this.” A week later Russian daily Izvestia citing an anonymous “high-placed” source in Moscow’s military-industrial complex warned that the Kremlin was contemplating the deployment of its strategic bombers to Cuba, Venezuela, and Algeria. These revelations provoked a sharp response from a top US Air Force commander and an unsettling “no comment” from Havana’s venerable communist dictatorship.

Pictured above: Ehud says “Salamat.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud (“Land for Peace”) Olmert leaves the July 30 press conference in Jerusalem in which he announced, under the shadow of an official corruption probe, his impending departure as head of government.

Meanwhile, Soviet ally Syria, according to Voice of America, continues to feign interest in a peace deal with Israel following the participation of both countries at the kick-off summit of the Union for the Mediterranean (UM) on July 13. The prime mover behind the new international organization is European/French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has presented himself to the world as the preeminent Middle East peace broker. The UM was formerly called the Mediterranean Union and embraces the European Union, North Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean states, including Israel, a territory that encompasses the expanse of the ancient Roman Empire, and then some. The restoration of the Roman Empire, as we have repeatedly pointed out, is prophesied by Daniel and John in Revelation.

Israel, Syria Set to Resume Indirect Talks
By VOA News 29 July 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has sent two envoys to Turkey for more indirect talks with Syria.

Israel and Syria first began communicating through Turkish mediators in May, and officials expect the fourth round of talks to begin Tuesday.

While officials say envoys from the two long-time enemies have yet to meet face-to-face, they say that could change in the near future.

Syria’s ambassador to the United States, Imad Mustafa, said Monday it is time to end the state of war with Israel, and that a peace deal with Israel, Syria and Lebanon is possible.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials have told an Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, that Syria has taken “tangible” steps to show it is serious about making peace.

The talks center on the fate of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war.

Syria demands that Israel withdraw fully from the Golan. Israeli leaders have not said if they will agree to such a move, but have spoken of the need to make tough concessions.

The United States has classified Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism and accuses Syria of destabilizing both Iraq and Lebanon.

The U.S. State Department canceled plans to meet with a Syrian delegation last week because of scheduling concerns.

The Syrian delegation was in the U.S. for a meeting sponsored by a non-governmental group that promotes conflict resolution.

Syria’s interest in pursuing peace with Israel is obviously feigned because Damascus, with the help of Russia, is arming itself and Hezbollah in Lebanon to the teeth for a future confrontation with the Jewish state. According to the Jerusalem Post article below, in May a Syrian military delegation travelled to Moscow, where it presented its Soviet masters with a shopping list of weapons, including submarines, anti-aircraft missiles, MiG fighter jets, and advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

Israel: Russia may be selling Syria arms
May 21, 2008 6:12 Updated May 21, 2008 12:05
By YAAKOV KATZ

Fearing that Damascus is acquiring advanced military platforms, Israel is closely following meetings being held in Moscow this week between a high-level Syrian military delegation and Russian Defense Ministry officials.

Senior government officials in Jerusalem said they have been aware for several days of the Syrians’ upcoming visit to the Russian capital but that it was not yet clear which military platforms Damascus was requesting.

According to reports in the Russian media, the delegation, led by Syrian Air Force commander Gen. Akhmad al-Ratyb, will be in Moscow for five days and meet with Russian Defense Ministry and Air Force officials, as well as visit several military bases and units.

According to the reports, the talks will focus on arms sales – including submarines, anti-aircraft missiles, the latest model MiG fighter jets and advanced surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

Israel is particularly concerned with a Syrian request for long-range S-300 surface-to-air missiles that could threaten IAF jets flying on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.

The S-300 is one of the best multi-target anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world and reportedly can track 100 targets simultaneously while engaging 12 at the same time. Syria recently received 36 Pantsir S1E air-defense systems from Russia. Iran is believed to have already procured several S-300 systems to protect its nuclear facilities.

Israeli defense officials expressed grave concern over the possibility that Syria would obtain these new military platforms. Damascus, the officials said, had dramatically increased defense spending recently. In the past three years, Syria has spent more than $3 billion on weapons, up from less than $100 million in 2002.

Officials said that Israel was working diplomatically with Moscow to prevent the sales, but that for the right amount of money, Russia would likely approve the sales in any case.

According to the reports, Syria is also discussing a purchase of MiG 29SMT fighter jets.

Currently, the Syrian Air Force is extremely weak, so advanced long-range MiGs would give it a significant boost.

Israel is also extremely concerned about a possible sale of the Iskander surface-to-surface missile system. The Iskander, Israeli weapons experts said Tuesday, was the heir to the Scud and was far superior to the ballistic missiles currently in Syria’s arsenal. The Iskander is propelled by solid fuel and has a range of 300 kilometers, with accuracy of about 20 meters.

“This would without a doubt be a major threat to Israel,” one Israeli expert said.

Lastly, Syria is also reportedly interested in buying two Amur-1650 submarines from Russia.

The Amur 1650 is a diesel-electric operated vessel and reportedly can strike salvo missile blows at multiple targets simultaneously.

Syria has a navy but does not have operational submarines.

In view of Russia’s military alliance with Syria and Iran, Moscow’s participation in the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet, which also includes the USA, the European Union, and the United Nations, is deceptive and serves only to camouflage Soviet machinations in that part of the world.

Paul’s Epistle and Antichrist’s Connection to Thessalonica, Greece

Today, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced that he will not contest the Kadima Party leadership on September 17 and will resign, to battle official corruption charges against him, after a new party leader is chosen. US billionaire Morris Talansky has testified in an Israeli court that Olmert accepted US$150,000 in illegal campaign contributions from him during Olmert’s term as mayor of Jerusalem and later as cabinet minister prior to becoming PM in 2006. According to Haaretz today: “Opposition leader and Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is the Israeli public’s preferred choice to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to a survey released on Wednesday by Channel 10.” Netanyahu’s best bud in the European Union is the man whom we suspect will fulfill the Biblically prophetic role of Antichrist.

In the midst of the famine, pestilence, war, economic collapse, and moral confusion that the Bible prophesies will characterize the end of the age, one man will stride onto the stage to solve the world’s problems, resurrect the Roman Empire, and present himself as Israel’s coming king and messiah. This man goes under many different names and titles, but the most well known is that of the Antichrist. Even the secular media is recognizing the need for a strong, wise ruler to bring peace and prosperity to the world. Under the title “World Needs Strong Leader to Prevent Doomsday,” Thomas Thompson, who makes no claim to be a Christian, on July 19 editorialized in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier of Waterloo, Iowa: “We need a wise and benevolent absolute despot who rules over the nations in order to tame catastrophic threats and create citizens, not of nations, but of the world. But I have no idea how to manage the transition. And I am all too aware of Lord Acton’s warning that absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

In past posts we have documented many reasons why European/French President Sarkozy’s character and career match those of the Antichrist prophesied in Holy Scripture. For example, Sarkozy’s Hungarian surname can be traced to ancient Assyria, where it meant “Prince of Darkness” or “Prince of Tribulation.” (The Hungarian language, incidentally, is unrelated to the Indo-European tongues and can be traced to the Middle East.) Moreover, Sarkozy traces his Syrian Jewish roots in part to Salonika, Greece, from which his mother’s family hailed. In the seventeenth century Salonika was the home of false Jewish messiah Sabbatai Zevi. Followers of Sabbatai were known as Sabbateans. For at least 12 years Sarkozy’s spiritual mentor has been neo-Sabbatean Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Dovid Zaoui. Lubavitchers, along with some other Orthodox Jewish groups, are actively involved in plans to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and view the election of Sarkozy to the presidency of France as an important step toward the establishment of their expected messiah’s kingdom on earth.

Salonika was once known as Thessalonica. In his first letter to the church in Thessalonica, the apostle Paul warns that before the day of the Lord, which refers to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, there will be a mad scramble to secure peace in the world, but to no avail: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Intriguingly, Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica warns the Christians of the coming Antichrist who will desecrate the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem shortly before the return of Jesus. When visiting Greece in 2006, Sarkozy declared: “My roots are in Salonika.”

According to Pastor Mark Biltz the next sequence of blood-moon and solar eclipses, spanning the sabbatical years of 2007-2008 and 2014-2015 and aligning with the Hebrew feasts of Passover and Tabernacles, suggest that “Daniel’s seventieth week of years” might be upon the world. This prophetic seven-year time span is also referred to as the Great Tribulation by Jesus in His Olivet Discourse. Holy Scripture testifies that Jesus fulfilled the four spring feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost in His death, burial, resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Spirit, while the fall feasts of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles apparently await fulfillment in the rapture of the church (which will be announced by the “trump of God”), Jesus’ return in glory, and His millennial reign. Biltz’s hypothesis is certainly interesting, but if it has any credence it is only because of the prophetic signs that are already visible with respect to the nations, Israel, and the church. Pictured above: Total lunar eclipse over the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, on February 21, 2008.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Army drills in Siberia; ship docks in French Guiana w/ supplies, 250 Russian technicians to build launch pad

>Soviets Turn Away British Ambassador Seeking to Inspect UK-Funded Nuclear Storage Facility in Murmansk

In preparation for the Fourth World War, the Russian armed forces continue their back-to-back drills, disguised as “anti-terrorist” operations, with the latest exercise in Siberia called Vostok-2008. State-run Voice of Russia reports: “Commander-Headquarters exercises of the Russian army code-named Vostok-2008 start in Siberia on Saturday. They will be engaged in planning and organizations of anti-terrorist operations and the elimination of consequences of economic and industrial disasters. Thee exercises end on Friday.”

Pictured above: Russian-built rocket booster Soyuz- U with Progress M-64 cargo ship, bound with supplies for the International Space Station, blasts off a launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on May 15, 2008.

In a related story Russia’s KGB-communist dictator Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has established a program to ensure that components for military hardware are produced domestically. Putin stated that “The implementation of a program to manufacture strategic materials would ensure independence from imports for firms fulfilling orders in the military-technical sector.” State-run Novosti reports:

Putin vows to back domestic production of military hardware parts
16:58 28/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian government will work out a specially targeted federal program to ensure that components for military hardware are produced domestically, the Russian prime minister said Monday.

Vladimir Putin visited the Avangard machine-building plant in Moscow, which is part of the Almaz-Antei defense company. “We will speak on it at today’s meeting of the Russian government presidium,” he said of the government support program.

The Almaz-Antei company specializes in developing and producing small, medium and long-range air defense missile systems, radars and automated control systems.

Putin also said the implementation of a program to manufacture strategic materials would ensure independence from imports for firms fulfilling orders in the military-technical sector.

That issue was also due to be discussed at the meeting of the presidium, also known as the inner cabinet.

Meanwhile, the first shipment of components to build Russia’s new space base in French Guiana arrived today at France’s overseas department, destined for the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. The shipment consists of 161 containers, including the service module. As many as 250 Russian technicians will shortly follow to begin construction of the launch pad, which host the Soyuz launch vehicle and assorted payloads, between August 10 and 15. The Guiana Space Centre is owned operated by the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales and the European Space Agency.

State-run Itar-Tass reports that “The first Soyuz launch from Kourou is planned for spring 2009.” Kourou is located at a latitude of 5°3′, or 500 kilometers north of the equator, which makes it ideally situated for launches into geostationary transfer orbit. It is not impossible, too, that Russia’s Kourou space base will have a secret military capacity. On November 21, 2007 then President Putin authorized the construction of the Kourou launch site.

Currently, Soyuz, Cosmos-3M, Rokot, and Tsyklon are launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, while the heavy Proton and Zenit rockets can only be launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome. A modernized Soyuz-2 carrier rocket blasted off from Plesetsk on July 26 to deliver a Kosmos military satellite into orbit.

Russia to start assembly works at future Soyuz Kourou launch pad in mid-Aug.
21.07.2008, 01.02

MOSCOW, July 21 (Itar-Tass) — Assembly works on the prospective Soyuz launch pad at the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana will begin in the middle of August, First Deputy Director General of the General Machine Building Design Bureau Vladimir Klimov told Itar-Tass.

The company is a key participant in the Soyuz Kourou project.

“Assembly works will start on August 10-15, as soon as the equipment is brought to the Guiana Space Center,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Federal Space Agency source told Itar-Tass that the Flinterland container vessel carrying the Russian equipment departed from the St. Petersburg seaport on July 8. It is due to reach the Cayenne seaport on July 24-25. Once the Russian cargo is cleared at customs, it will be brought to the Guiana Space Center.

“Several teams of Russian specialists will go to French Guiana starting from late July. They will represent the General Machine Building Design Bureau, the Federal Space Agency and CSKB-Progress [the producer of Soyuz ST, a modification of the Soyuz 2]. There will also be a group of 50 workers. The workers will operate by shift for three to six months, depending on their profession,” Klimov said.

The Soyuz Kourou project is based on a Russian-French intergovernmental agreement signed in November 2003. The total cost of the project is 344 million euros, including 130 million for Russia. European companies will provide the infrastructure, while Russia will assemble technological systems and produce Soyuz ST launch vehicles.

The first Soyuz launch from Kourou is planned for spring 2009.

Europe’s spaceport is situated in the northeast of South America in French Guiana, an overseas department of France.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA) website, in 1964 the French Government chose Kourou, from 14 other sites, as a base from which to launch its satellites.

Kourou lies at latitude 5°3′, just over 500 kilometers north of the equator. Its nearness to the equator makes it ideally placed for launches into geostationary transfer orbit as few changes have to be made to a satellite’s trajectory.

It covers an area of 750 square kilometers, almost as much as the city of New York. Surrounded on two sides by equatorial forest, to the east it has a 50 kilometer coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean and to the south lies the town of Kourou.

Launchers also profit from the ‘slingshot’ effect, that is the energy created by the speed of the Earth’s rotation around the axis of the Poles. This increases the speed of a launcher by 460 m per second. These important factors save fuel and money, and prolong the active life of satellites.

Thanks to its geographical position, Europe’s spaceport offers a launch angle of 102°, enabling a wide range of missions from east to north. In fact, Europe’s spaceport is so well placed that it can carry out all possible space missions.

Safety is equally important. French Guiana is scarcely populated and 90% of the country is covered by equatorial forests. In addition there is no risk of cyclones or earthquakes.

Meanwhile, Russia is launching its space vehicles from several locations, among them Baikonur, Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar. Earlier in the month the Federal Space Agency Board approved a work plan for the new Vostochny spaceport in the Amur region.

On November 21, 2007, then President Vladimir Putin signed a decree authorizing the construction of the new launch facility. It is planned to start the construction in 2010 when the exact location of the spaceport is approved. The first unmanned launches may take place in 2015, while manned launches may begin in 2018.

The new facility will initially reduce Russia’s dependence on the Baikonur spaceport located in Kazakhstan and eventually replace it.

The Baikonur spaceport is the world’s oldest and largest operational space launch facility. The Soviet government ordered the construction of the Baikonur spaceport in the 1950s. Baikonur was founded on June 2, 1955. It was originally built as a long-range-missile center and later expanded to include launch facilities for space flights.

On December 22, 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia signed a contract establishing the “Russia-Kazakhstan Baiterek JV” joint venture, in which each country holds a 50-percent stake. The goal of the project is the construction of the Baiterek space launch complex, to facilitate operations of the Russian Angara rocket launcher. The site is scheduled to be completed in 2009.

Russia also has a spaceport in Plesetsk in the Arkhangelsk region, about 800 kilometers north of Moscow and south of Arkhangelsk. It was originally developed by the Soviet Union as a launch site for intercontinental ballistic missiles. Construction started in 1957 and it was declared operational for R-7 rockets in December 1959. Plesetsk is used especially for military satellites placed into high inclination and polar orbits since the range for falling debris is clear to the north, which is largely uninhabited arctic and polar terrain. It is situated in a region of taiga. Plesetsk is not ideally suited for low inclination or geostationary launches because of its high latitude.

Currently, the Soyuz launch vehicle, Cosmos-3M, Rokot and Tsyklon are launched from the Plesetsk spaceport. The heavy Proton and Zenit rockets can only be launched from Baikonur.

Another Russian rocket launch center is Kapustin Yar in the Astrakhan region, between Volgograd and Astrakhan in the town of Znamensk. It was established on May 13, 1946. The first rocket was launched on October 18, 1947. Numerous test rockets for the Russian military, satellite and rocket launches were also carried out at the site.

The Federal Space Agency is the government agency responsible for Russia’s space science program and general aerospace research. The agency headquarters are located in Moscow, the main mission control enter is located in Korolev and the Cosmonauts Training Center is in Star City. Since his appointment as General Director in March, 2004, Anatoly Perminov has led Russia’s efforts to consolidate its space program.

We last posted about the Russian presence in French Guiana in January 2006. The Kremlin’s involvement in the Guiana Space Centre is seemingly part of a wider move by neo-Soviet Russia back into Latin America, including and especially Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Brazil.

Finally, the compulsive secrecy of the neo-Soviet leadership was lately manifested when the British ambassador to Russia Anthony Brenton was prevented from visiting a nuclear fuel storage facility in Murmansk. The site is operated by Atomflot but partly funded by the United Kingdom under the G8’s Global Partnership Program. “The diplomats were not admitted to the restricted-access facility. Why? That is not a question for us. It is not our prerogative, but one for the competent authorities, they decide whom to admit and whom not to,” an Atomflot spokesentity intoned. Translated from Sovietspeak, Atomflot is saying: “So long and thanks for the money.” The chilly reception for Ambassador Brenton represents a continuation of the frosty relations between London and Moscow following the poisoning murder of FSB defector Alexander Livtinenko. State Duma deputy Andrei Lugovoi is the British government’s top murder suspect.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Collective Security Treaty, Shanghai Cooperation Organizations review "coordinated response" to US NMD plans

>The SCO development is given priority in Russia’s foreign policy, this is our strategic permanent course.
— Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; statement made at Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, Dushanbe, on July 25, 2008

The nations are moving ever more closely to a nuclear confrontation between the Communist Bloc and the remnants of the Free World, but few citizens are taking serious notice.

The biggest bone of contention is the USA’s National Missile Defense strategy in Central Europe. The neo-Soviet leadership has worked itself up into a lather over the issue. Moscow contends that these interceptors will in fact be nuclear warhead-tipped medium-range ballistic missiles that will be trained on Russian targets. An agreement between Washington and Prague to install a radar base in the Czech Republic has already been signed. Citing “NATO expansionism,” the dangerous criminals who rule Russia under the leadership of KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin, Communist Party Chairman Gennady Zyuganov, and August 1991 coup mastermind Oleg Shenin, have already threatened to nuke cities in Western Europe and Ukraine.

We have previously documented the growing military coordination between the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which embraces most of the “post”-Soviet space, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which emobies the Moscow-Bejing Axis, as well as the “post”-communist Central Asia republics. We have also specifically documented the memorandum of mutual understanding endorsed by both organizations last October. State-owned Kommersant Daily reports today that the CSTO will deploy a “new military infrastructure” on its periphery and form a military alliance with the SCO to counter Washington’s plans to install missile interceptors in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic.

SCTO Creates Military Infrastructure on Borders
July 25, 2008

The states of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will set up a new military infrastructure on borders in response to deployment of the U.S. missile-defense shield in the Czech Republic and in Poland, CSTO General Secretary Nikolay Bordyuzha told reporters Friday.

“As to the third position site, I would like to say that it is one of elements of work carried out on borders of CSTO member-states to create a new military infrastructure and revive certain elements of the time of the Soviet Union,” the official specified.

One of the current highlights for CSTO is building up friendly and strategic relations with the states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

“We have reached rather high level of cooperation with SCO and our main task is to consolidate efforts for ensuring security,” Bordyuzha pointed out.

Another concern of CSTO is NATO’s plans to expand eastward.

“In view of allied cooperation of CSTO, we coordinate our strategic positions for global and regional security,” the official said, adding that it is also true for evaluating the plans for NATO expansion and counter-terrorist activities.

Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tadjikistan are the CSTO members, while SCO unites Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tadjikistan and Uzbekistan.

State-run Voice of Russia also reports on the acceleration of coordinated military activity between the CSTO and SCO:

The Shanghai Six and the post-Soviet Collective Security Organization are considering a coordinated response to American plans for missile defences in European countries. Executive head of the CSO Nikolai Bordiuzha told this to our radio in an interview on Friday. The Americans say they need a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor silos in Poland for warding off potential missile threats from Iran. Russia perceives threats to its security instead.

The importance that the Moscow Leninists attach to their alliance with the Communist Party of China and the “ex”-c0mmunist regimes in Central Asia was again indicated by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the current SCO summit in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. “The SCO development is given priority in Russia’s foreign policy, this is our strategic permanent course,” Comrade Lavrov declared, all but admitting to the existence of the Soviet long-range strategy for conquering the world for communism. Observer state Iran has applied for full membership in the SCO. State-run Itar-Tass reports:

Russia gives priority to SCO development in foreign policy–Lavrov
25.07.2008, 13.40

DUSHANBE, July 25 (Itar-Tass) – The SCO foreign ministers did not discuss the SCO expansion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the member-countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday.

“We agreed on practical steps that will allow all observers to take part in SCO activities that evoke their interest, – Lavrov said. – I hope that the leaders of the SCO countries will consider this proposal and after it is approved, we will move further on”. The foreign ministers of the SCO states agreed on an accord for dialogue partnership on Friday.

Lavrov noted that Iran couldn’t become a SCO associated member. “There is no such status, there is only an observer status. Iran is one of SCO observers,” he said.

On the whole, the SCO has already turned into “an authoritative multipartite structure,” Lavrov pointed out.

“The SCO development is given priority in Russia’s foreign policy, this is our strategic permanent course,” the Russian foreign minister remarked.

>Latin America File: Cuban Missile Crisis 2: Russian bomber crews recently visited Cuba to inspect possible refueling site; air crews spying on USA

>The conflicting messages emanating from Moscow with respect to the Kremlin’s alleged plans to forward deploy strategic bombers to Cuba, Venezuela, and Algeria in response to US National Missile Defense plans in Central Europe continued yesterday with a second article published in the Russian daily Izvestia. Citing sources in the Russian Defense Ministry, which officially denies such reports, Izvestia revealed that crews of Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS Bear bombers have already visited Cuba to inspect the site and facilities of a possible forward landing airfield that could be employed as a refueling stopover.

Another Russian publication, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, refuted such revelations by insisting that the Kremlin is engaging in “saber-rattling in empty air.” State-run Novosti reports that “At present the Russian military is considering the possibility of establishing so-called ‘jump-up’ bases in various regions of the world to provide refueling and maintenance support for the patrolling bombers.” Nezavisimaya Gazeta contends, however, that “The Russian defense budget simply does not have sufficient resources to ensure the implementation of these plans.”

Russia could place bombers in Latin America, N.Africa – paper
14:2724/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russian strategic bombers may soon be deployed at airbases in Cuba, Venezuela and Algeria as a response to the U.S. missile shield in Europe and NATO’s expansion, Russian daily Izvestia said on Thursday.

Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the U.S. of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an accompanying tracking radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its national security. Washington says the defenses are needed to deter a possible strike from Iran, or other “rogue” states.

Moscow has also expressed concern over NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders and pledged to take “appropriate measures” to counter the U.S. and NATO moves.

Izvestia cited sources in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that crews of Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers recently visited Cuba and conducted an inspection of a site and facilities for a possible forward landing airfield that could be used as a refueling stopover for Russian strategic bombers.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by former president Vladimir Putin.

At present the Russian military is considering the possibility of establishing so-called “jump-up” bases in various regions of the world to provide refueling and maintenance support for the patrolling bombers.

“The flight to the U.S. [from southern Russia where the bombers are based] takes about 10 hours and even with two mid-air refuellings the aircraft can spend only 1.5 hours near the U.S. coast,” said Gen. of the Army Pyotr Deinekin, former commander of the Russian Air Force.

The use of forward landing airfields in Latin America would practically erase the time constraints for the Russian bombers and make their presence near the U.S. borders almost permanent, the general said.

If a political decision is made, Cuba will most likely host Russian Il-78 aerial tankers, which will provide nuclear-capable strategic bombers with mid-air refueling, sources in the Defense Ministry told Izvestia.

Both Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers have been recently modernized and fitted with new X-555 cruise missiles with a range of over 3,500 km (2,200 miles). Therefore, the bombers do not have to be permanently based near the U.S. borders to hit any target on U.S. territory in case of a potential conflict.

In the meantime, the bombers may be primarily used to spy on the United States using electronic means, much like the former Russian SIGINT station at Lourdes near Havana, which was closed in 2002.

However, another Russian publication, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, said on Thursday that the ambitious plans of Russian politicians and some military commanders may be nothing more than “saber-rattling in empty air.”

The prospect of maintaining refueling posts for Russian bombers all over the world would require an enormous amount of investment in construction of infrastructure, fuel supplies and re-supplies.

The Russian defense budget simply does not have sufficient resources to ensure the implementation of these plans, the newspaper said.

Russian bombers with nuclear missiles on board policing the globe would only harm Russia’s image in the international arena, and it is unlikely that their presence near the U.S. borders will scare the Americans.

The U.S. military consider long-range bombers an obsolete and highly vulnerable component of the nuclear triad. The Pentagon stopped strategic bomber patrols almost two decades ago.

It should be more and more evident to even the most benighted citizen of the shopping mall regime that the collapse of Soviet communism in 1991 was a ruse, designed to lure the Western Alliance into the “post”-Soviet Bloc and thereby create a pretext for a Russian preemptive strike.

Meanwhile, according to the same source, the construction of a new generation of nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines is a “top priority” for the Russian Navy. The fourth-generation Borey-class submarine is armed with 16 Bulava missiles, each of which can deliver up to 10 nuclear warheads about 5,000 miles, and will form the core of Russia’s fleet of “modern strategic submarines.” The first submarine in the series, Yury Dolgoruky, was assembled at the Sevmash plant in the Arkhangelsk Region and will soon join the navy.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Tu-142, Il-38 ASW aircraft test new EW gear, weapons over Barents, Norwegian Seas; NATO fighter jets shadow

>Neo-Soviet Russia continues to project its power over the polar region with the latest mission over the Barents and Norwegian Seas. In this incident NATO fighter jets shadowed a Tupolev Tu-142 Bear maritime reconnaissance/anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, which is a variant of the turboprop Tu-95 Bear bomber, and an Ilyushin Il-38, which is also an ASW aircraft (pictured above). The two Russian military planes were testing new electronic warfare (EW) equipment, according to the Novosti report below.

Russian Navy aircraft test new weapons in Arctic
20:3124/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Northern Fleet Tu-142 Bear and Il-38 May anti-submarine aircraft have tested new electronic equipment and precision-guided weapons over the Barents and Norwegian Sea, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.

“Advanced onboard electronic equipment and weapon control systems were tested during the flights. The tests have shown their high effectiveness,” Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

He added that at some stage of the flights, Russian aircraft were accompanied by NATO warplanes, stressing that all such flights are conducted strictly in accordance with international agreements and the norms of international law.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by then-president Vladimir Putin. Russian bombers have since carried out over 80 strategic patrol flights and have often been escorted by NATO planes.

Air Force commander, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said in April that Russia would drastically increase the number of strategic patrol flights over the world’s oceans to 20-30 a month in the near future.

The Arctic is becoming an area of increasing international focus due to the potentially large deposits of natural resources, including oil and natural gas, located there.

This month the Russian Navy resumed a permanent presence around Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, where the Kremlin maintains a coal mining settlement, established by international treaty. Last month we reported that the Kremlin is preparing to wage Arctic warfare to back up its claims to the natural resources, namely, oil, under the polar seabed.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Chavez wraps up Moscow trip with call for Soviet-Venezuelan military alliance, reaffirmation of 2001 agreement

>Chavez Denies Reports that He Welcomes the Establishment of a Russian Military Base in Venezuela

During his seventh trip to Moscow since becoming elected tyrant of Venezuela in 1999, Hugo Chavez submitted a progress report and a weapons shopping list to Russia’s KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin and rubbed elbows with Putin’s mini-me, “President” Dmitry Medvedev. On Tuesday Comrade Hugo called for a strategic alliance between Russia and Venezuela that would protect the latter from “US imperialist” plots to overthrow his incipient neo-communist regime. The USA halted arms shipments to Red Venezuela in 2006, forcing Caracas to travel cap in hand to Moscow. For his part, Medvedev declared that “Russian-Venezuelan relations are one of the key factors of security in the [South American] region,” a rather ominous comment when linked to the Kremlin propaganda swirling around possible bomber deployments to Cuba.

The Russian military-industrial complex echoes Kremlin policy in South America: oil-rich Venezuela, like oil-rich Iran, needs Russian S-300 air defense systems. “Needless to say, should S-300s be delivered to Venezuela, they would effectively strengthen its defense capability, and it would not be easy for its possible adversaries to punish the country by striking at its oil fields,” insisted former Russian Air Force commander General Anatoly Kornukov, adding: “As an oil-rich country Venezuela has to protect its natural resources. It is difficult to say how many air-defense systems Venezuela would need, since it has to protect not separate sites, but its entire territory. Ten S-300 battalions, each comprising six launchers, should be enough.”

In addition to ordering more fighter jets, diesel-powered submarines, Tor-M1 air defense systems, and possibly tanks, Chavez’s blessed three separate deals between state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA and Russian energy companies Gazprom, Lukoil, and TNK-BP. Pictured above: Putin and Chavez in Moscow, on July 22, 2008.

Venezuela’s Chavez calls for alliance with Russia
By MANSUR MIROVALEV, Associated Press Writer

Tue Jul 22, 12:35 PM ET

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, visiting Moscow to pursue weapons and energy deals, on Tuesday called for a strategic alliance with Russia to protect his country from the United States.

Chavez has repeatedly accused Washington of plotting an invasion to destabilize his government, despite U.S. denials.

The alliance would mean “we can guarantee Venezuela’s sovereignty, which is now threatened by the United States,” Chavez told reporters shortly after his arrival in Moscow.

Chavez is in Russia to broker a number of deals involving weapons purchases, oil exploration and possibly the creation of a joint financial institution.

Welcoming Chavez at Meiendorf Castle, his residence outside Moscow, President Dmitry Medvedev said Russian-Venezuelan relations “are one of the key factors of security in the (South American) region.”

It is the presidents’ first meeting since Medvedev took office in May.

Venezuela’s state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA signed separate deals with three Russian energy companies — Gazprom, Lukoil and TNK-BP — during the first day of Chavez’s visit.

In addition, Russian media have reported that Chavez is expected to reach a number of agreements for purchasing Russian military hardware while in Moscow, with one paper reporting the deals could be worth up to $2 billion.

The newspaper Kommersant, generally regarded as reliable, reported Tuesday that Chavez is looking to order Ilyushin jets, diesel-powered submarines, Tor-M1 air defense systems and possibly tanks. It did not specify its sources.

“We want peace, but we are forced to strengthen our defense,” Chavez said when asked about the potential deals upon his arrival.

Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-owned arms trader, declined to comment on potential deals.

Venezuela, which spent $4 billion on international arms purchases between 2005 and 2007, mostly from Russia and China, has a defense budget of $2.6 billion, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The U.S. stopped supplying arms to Venezuela in 2006.

The three energy agreements involve exploring new oil fields in Venezuela. Chavez said they signified the “creation of a new strategic energy alliance” between Russia and Venezuela.

The deal with TNK-BP was particularly striking given the company’s ongoing dispute between its Russian and British shareholders.

“For TNK-BP it is a positive sign that the shareholders’ conflict has had no effect on the business,” said Valery Nesterov, an analyst at Troika Dialog, an investment bank.

On Tuesday BP announced it would recall 60 technical specialists from Russia.

Chavez also wants to discuss the possibility of creating a joint bank, according to Alexis Navarro, Venezuela’s ambassador to Moscow.

The Venezuelan president also met Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and was to meet Russian military and business leaders.

Commercial trade between Venezuela and Russia reached $1.1 billion last year, almost double the $517 million in trade during 2006, according to statistics cited by Venezuela’s state-run news agency.

Source: Yahoo News

Chavez’s call for a Soviet-Venezuelan military alliance is somewhat disengenuous since the two states actually established an anti-USA strategic parternship in early 2001. Then President Putin described the new partnership between Moscow and Caracas as “an important element of Russia’s cooperation with Latin America,” long regarded by Washington as the USA’s “backyard.” Comrade Hugo was quick to aid Russia’s re-penetration of Latin America: “We will help Russia’s presence in the Caribbean region. We believe in democracy, but not the kind of democracy forced on us. A strategic alliance has began, a joint path.” All communists believe in democracy, by which they mean, of course, communism. Today, while visiting Lisbon, the third stop on his overseas trip after Moscow and Minsk, Chavez denied reports that he welcomed the installation of a Russian military base in Venezuela. Such a prospect, however, would surely not fall outside the parameters of the well-established Soviet-Venezuelan partnership.

Lastly, while conferring with Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko yesterday, the two leaders pledged solidarity against US foreign policy. “Tell us what we need to do, and we will do it,” Lukashenko gushed to his Venezuelan comrade. “It would have been unthinkable for us not to pay a visit to Minsk on our tour to confirm the deep feelings of friendship we have toward the Belarusian people,” Chavez emoted.

>Latin America File: Cuban Missile Crisis 2: Castro’s cryptic remark: No apologies for Russian bomber report; Kremlin think tank: Reopen Lourdes base

>Cuba is a unique place to gather intelligence on the United States. I believe that the reopening of this station [Lourdes] is both possible and necessary amid the threat that the Americans are creating for Russia. Russia has every right to respond.
— Alexander Pikayev, World Economics and International Relations Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences; quoted by Novosti, July 23, 2008

In response to this past Monday’s article in the Russian daily Izvestia, related to the Kremlin’s alleged plans for stationing or refueling its strategic bombers in Cuba, former Cuban president Fidel Castro, who is still communist party chief, issued a cryptic comment to the effect that his country owes no apologies to Washington over the report. “We need not offer any explanations or excuses nor ask forgiveness,” he wrote at cubadebate.cu. Under the title “Macciavelli’s Strategy,” Castro asserted that the USA has adopted the following strategy with Cuba: “If you say yes, I’ll kill you. If you say no, it doesn’t matter, I’ll kill you anyway. That is the Machiavellian strategy the United States uses with Cuba.” In short, Castro neither denies nor confirms the accuracy of the story, which the Russian Defense Ministry officially rejects. Fidel’s younger brother Raul became president of Cuba in February.

Pictured above: Then President (now Prime Minister) Vladimir Putin and Castro stand together during the former’s official welcoming ceremony outside Havana’s Palace of the Revolution on December 14, 2000.

Bloomberg reports today that the original Izvestia story included references to Venezuela and Algeria, as well as Cuba: “‘Bombers can be deployed to bases in Cuba, Venezuela or Algeria at any time,’ Izvestia said. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky denied . . . [the] Izvestia report. ‘There’s no truth in it,” he said by telephone, calling the report ‘a fairy tale.”’

As we previously posted, US General Norton Schwartz, nominated to be the air force’s chief of staff, responded on Tuesday to the Izvestia story, which cites a “highly placed” source in the Russian military aviation establishment, by declaring that if the Kremlin pursues this course, then “I think we should stand strong and indicate that is something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line for the United States of America.” The AFP news agency reports below:

Fidel Castro says no excuses from Cuba on Russian bomber issue
July 24, 2008

HAVANA (AFP) — Fidel Castro said Havana owed no apologies to Washington over reports that Russia might start flying long-range bombers to Cuba, and warned that his country “had nerves of steel in times of genocide”.

It was the first official comment from the Americas’ only one-party communist government since a US general responded to a report in a Russian newspaper, warning Russia against basing nuclear-capable bombers in Cuba.

“What we need are nerves of steel in times of genocide, and Cuba has them. The United States knows that,” he wrote, in what appeared to be a reference to previous Cold War era confrontations between the two countries.

The flights, although they have not yet been officially announced by Moscow, have already sparked tensions reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s.

The ailing Fidel Castro, 81, who in February handed over power to his 77-year-old brother Raul, made his comments in a letter to cubadebate.cu on Wednesday.

“Raul did just the right thing by maintaining appropriate silence on statements published Monday July 21 by Izvestia, related to potential installation of strategic Russian bomber bases in our country,” he wrote.

Fidel Castro said the news arose from “hypotheses developed in Russia due to Yankee (US) stubbornness about the idea of setting up radar and a missile shield near the border of that great power.”

US General Norton Schwartz, nominated to be the air force’s chief of staff, said in Washington Tuesday that if Russia “did, I think we should stand strong and indicate that is something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line for the United States of America.”

The elder Castro has been sidelined by a major intestinal illness two years ago and now spends a lot of his time writing political essays.

In his latest, headlined “Macciavelli’s Strategy”, he said that with the United States: “if you say yes, I’ll kill you. If you say no, it doesn’t matter, I’ll kill you anyway. That is the Machiavellian strategy the United States uses with Cuba.

“We need not offer any explanations or excuses nor ask forgiveness,” he wrote.

The newspaper Izvestia has reported that the Russian military is thinking of flying long-range bombers to Cuba on a regular basis, citing an unnamed senior Russian air force official, as saying such flights were under discussion.

The plan was in response to US plans to install missile defenses in eastern Europe, it reported.

But it was unclear whether they would involve permanent basing of nuclear bombers in Cuba, or just use of the island as a refueling stop.

Meanwhile, at least one Russian military expert is rightly questioning whether, from a military-technical point of view, the deployment of strategic bombers to Cuba, which is a mere 90 miles from Florida, is even necessary since both Tu-160 Blackjacks and Tu-95 Bears can launch cruise missiles from a distance of 2,200 miles. “I believe that stationing Russian bombers in Cuba would be a destructive step [for Russia] because the advantage of these bombers is that they may launch missiles from outside the effective range of an enemy’s air defenses,” insisted Colonel General Viktor Yesin, former commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, to state-run Novosti. “There is no need to deploy bombers 145 km from the U.S., where they would be easy targets for US air defenses, if they are capable of hitting targets on US soil from a distance of more than 3,500 kilometres.”

That being the case, one must ask: Why did the Kremlin media broadcast reports about possible bomber deployments to Cuba, which prompted a heated response from the Pentagon and a cryptic comment from Havana? As we previously suggested, it would appear that the Moscow Leninists are carefully gauging Washington’s tolerance factor for a superpower showdown over National Missile Defense in Central Europe.

Even as the Russian Defense Ministry pours “cold water” on the Izvestia “trial balloon,” the Kremlin media is once again, only four days later, raising the specter of a Russian military presence on Cuba, this time in the form of a revitalized electronic spy base, Lourdes, which was formally closed by then President Vladimir Putin one month after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The operational connection between Lourdes and the 911 skyjackers is considered in a previous post. The Lourdes facility covers a 28 square-mile area and until early 2002 employed as many as 1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel. Novosti reports:

Moscow must answer U.S. shield with Cuban ‘spy’ site – analyst
18:2023/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia should respond to U.S. missile defense plans for Central Europe by reopening a ‘spy’ facility in Cuba to gather intelligence on the United States, a Russian analyst said on Wednesday.

The electronic monitoring and surveillance facility near Havana at Torrens, also known as the Lourdes facility, the largest Russian Sigint site abroad, was shut down in October 2001 by then- president Vladimir Putin.

“Cuba is a unique place to gather intelligence on the United States. I believe that the reopening of this station is both possible and necessary amid the threat that the Americans are creating for Russia,” Alexander Pikayev, head of the disarmament and conflict resolution department at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ World Economics and International Relations Institute, told a news conference at RIA Novosti.

“Russia has every right to respond,” he added.

Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the U.S. of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic as a threat to its security. Washington says the missile shield is needed to deter possible strikes from “rogue states.”

A Russian military source was earlier quoted as saying that Russian strategic bombers could be stationed again in Cuba, only 90 miles from the U.S. coast, in response to the U.S. missile shield plans for Central Europe.

The Lourdes facility reportedly covered a 28 square-mile area, with 1,000-1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base.

The complex was capable of monitoring a wide array of commercial and government communications throughout the southeastern United States, and between the United States and Europe.

Lourdes intercepted transmissions from microwave towers in the United States, communication satellite downlinks, and a wide range of shortwave and high-frequency radio transmissions.

In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to the brink of nuclear war when Soviet missiles were stationed in Cuba.

The crisis was resolved after 12 days when the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, backed down and ordered the missiles removed.

The drum beats of war emanating from the Kremlin are becoming increasingly frantic and may disguise the chilling fact that Russian missiles and other military hardware possibly never left Cuba after the First Cold War ended. After all, the Izvestia article admits that Russian military transports fly to the island gulag on a regular basis to this very day. It has now become very apparent that beginning with the fake collapse of Eastern European communism between 1989 and 1991 the Moscow Leninists purposely lured NATO and the USA into the former Soviet Bloc states for the purpose of building a seemingly legitimate case for striking the West first.

>Blogger’s Note: 50,000 hits since blog’s January 2006 inception

>Once Upon a Time in the West is approaching its 50,000th “hit.” Many thanks to our visitors and those who have left comments since the inception of this blog in January 2006. Although the shopping mall regimes have for the most part ignored the warnings of former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn and other Soviet Bloc defectors, more and more citizens are alert to the threat posed by the twenty-first-century communist conspiracy. May God be with you in whatever private, grass-roots preparations you are making to defend your country and family.

>Middle East File: Russia to ship S-300 air defense batteries to Iran via Belarus as early as September, operational by 2009

>With the September delivery by Russia to Iran of an “unspecified number” of S-300 air defense sytems, the timetable for the Third World War has been established. Robert Hewson, editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, reveals below that “The Iranian S-300 deal is being conducted via Belarus to afford discretion for Russia, which is already under Western scrutiny for helping Iran build a major atomic reactor. Belarus is the proxy route whenever Russia wants to deny it is doing the sale. But nothing happens along that route without Moscow saying so.” We have already reported on Minsk’s middleman role between Moscow and client regimes in Caracas and Khartoum. Iran already deploys Russian-built TOR-M1 surface-to-air missiles.

Pictured above: In early June 2008, apparently in anticipation of a strike against Iran’s nuclear reactors, the Israeli Air Force carried out a large-scale drill over the Mediterranean Sea and NATO member state Greece, which is one of the few countries to have bought and deployed S-300s (pictured above). The Greek S-300s were deactivated during the Israeli maneuver.

Iran to get new Russian air defences by ’09 -Israel
23 Jul 2008 15:32:52 GMT 23 Jul 2008 15:32:52 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Dan Williams

TEL AVIV, July 23 (Reuters) – Iran is set to receive an advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft system by year-end that could help fend off any preemptive strikes against its nuclear facilities, senior Israeli defence sources said on Wednesday.

First delivery of the S-300 missile batteries was expected as soon as early September, one source said, though it could take six to 12 months for them to be deployed and operable — a possible reprieve for Israeli and American military planners.

Iran, which already has TOR-M1 surface-to-air missiles from Russia, announced last December that an unspecified number of S-300s were on order. But Moscow denied there was any such deal.

Washington has led a diplomatic drive to deny Iran access to nuclear technologies with bomb-making potential, while hinting that force could be a last resort. Israel, whose warplanes have been training for long-range missions, has made similar threats.

But the allies appear to differ on when Iran, which denies seeking atomic arms, might get the S-300. The most sophisticated version of the system can track 100 targets at once and fire on planes 120 km (75 miles) away.

“Based on what I know, it’s highly unlikely that those air defence missiles would be in Iranian hands any time soon,” U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said in a July 9 briefing when asked about the S-300 — also known in the West as the SA-20.

An Israeli defence official said Iran’s contract with Russia required that the S-300s be delivered by the end of 2008. A second source said first units would arrive in early September.

The official agreed with the assessments of independent experts that the S-300 would compound the challenges that Iran — whose nuclear sites are numerous, distant, and fortified — would already pose for any future air strike campaign by Israel.

TIME TO LEARN

Israel does not have strategic “stealth” bombers like the United States, though the Israeli air force is believed to have developed its own radar-evading and jamming technologies.

“There’s no doubt that the S-300s would make an air attack more difficult,” said the official, who declined to be named.

“But there’s an answer for every counter-measure, and as far as we’re concerned, the sooner the Iranians get the new system, the more time we will have to inspect the deployments and tactical doctrines. There’s a learning curve.”

Israel, which is assumed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, carried out a large-scale air force drill over the Mediterranean last month which was widely seen as a “dress rehearsal” for a possible raid on Iran. Some analysts also described it as a bid to pressure the West to step up sanctions.

The exercise involved overflying parts of Greece, which is among a handful of countries to have bought and deployed S-300s. But Greek media quoted Athens officials as saying that the system’s radars were “turned off” during the Israeli presence.

According to the Israeli official, it would take a year for Iran to deploy the S-300s and man them with trained operators.

Robert Hewson, editor of Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, said: “The minimum work-up time to be comfortable with the system is six months, but more time is preferable.”

Hewson said the Iranian S-300 deal was being conducted via Belarus to afford discretion for Russia, which is already under Western scrutiny for helping Iran build a major atomic reactor.

“Belarus is the proxy route whenever Russia wants to deny it is doing the sale. But nothing happens along that route without Moscow saying so,” he said.

>EU File: Sarkozy activates "Gallic charm offensive" during Lisbon Treaty rescue trip in Ireland; Senegal: Med Union will split African Union

>European/French President Nicolas Sarkozy, architect of the revived Roman Empire of Bible prophecy–otherwise known as the Mediterranean Union–and, in our assessment, top candidate for the post of Antichrist, has launched a “Gallic charm offensive” against the Irish, denying earlier reports in which he apparently insisted that Ireland hold a second refendum favorable to the Lisbon Treaty. “I never said that Ireland had to organise a second referendum,” Sarkozy insisted at a news conference with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, adding: “I did not in any way meddle in Irish domestic affairs.” However, the EU Observer reveals that in private discussions Sarkozy urged Cowen to hold a second referendum on the same day as elections to the European Parliament next June. Thus, we see that European federalists like Sarkozy will not be deterred by popular or government opposition to their socialist project, carried out in collaboration with the Moscow Leninists. The European/French president’s charming smiles veil a totalitarian heart. Sarkozy and Cowen are pictured above in Dublin, on July 21, 2008.

Sarkozy charms Irish on EU rescue meeting: Commentators
‘A French kiss for an Irish Taoiseach’

Andrew Bushe, AFP
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DUBLIN – French President Nicholas Sarkozy won over the Irish with a Gallic charm offensive on a brief visit following Dublin’s shock rejection of a key European Union treaty, press commentators said Tuesday.

“Relief as Sarkozy charms without a single faux pas,” said the Independent, while the Examiner headlined its main story “Shaken and stirred by Gallic charm” and the Irish Times called the visit “constructive.”

The positive coverage was in stark contrast to the days in the run up to the visit Monday, when the trip was dismissed as a “French farce”.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen, left, and France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy in Dublin July 21. Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency, has the task of finding a way out of the crisis sparked by Ireland’s rejection of the EU’s reform treaty.

Even the protests were deemed as muted with an estimated 1,400 to 1,800 turning up, and some of those were supporting Sarkozy, particularly Irish farmers who had arrived with tractors painted in the French colours.

There was only one public order incident when a 35-year-old man tried to pelt Sarkozy’s car with eggs as he arrived at government buildings in the centre of the city.

However the man turned out to be a French waiter, named as Michael Audron, who has lived in Ireland for three years, according to the court press service. A judge threw out charges of “threatening, insulting and abusive behaviour” after Audron paid 150 euros ($238) to charity.

Irish voters dealt a blow to the European Union last month by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty by 53 percent in the only popular vote on the text anywhere in the 27-nation bloc.

The French leader sparked outrage last week by reportedly suggesting that Ireland should vote again after the crushing rejection of the treaty in a June 12 referendum.

But Sarkozy dismissed the report during his visit. “I never said that Ireland had to organise a second referendum,” he told a news conference with Prime Minister Brian Cowen.

“I did not in any way meddle in Irish domestic affairs.”

The Examiner says he soothed the Irish by saying that he knows “what it feels like to be isolated” – a reference to French voter’s rejection of the forerunner to Lisbon, the Constitutional Treaty.

The paper warns that his reiteration of the fact that 26 countries still intend to press ahead “may well turn out to be an iron fist in a velvet glove”.

The Irish Times praises Sarkozy for a “good day’s work” and making a “worthwhile start” to finding out how the political crisis can be tackled and resolved.

“Mr. Sarkozy’s energetic engagement with the issues impressed the political leaders and activists he met”.

Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein the only mainstream party to oppose the treaty, said a round-table meeting with Sarkozy was “useful”.

“It is worth noting that Mr. Sarkosy did what the Irish government have failed to, he has met with and listened” treaty opponents.

Green Party Senator Deirdre de Burca was also full of praise for Sarkozy saying she was struck by the fact he spent “a lot of the time with us winning us over and being very personable and good-humoured.”

“I must say that he did appear to listen carefully to all that was said to him and to take our concerns on board. I was pleasantly surprised, as I was expecting him to be quite different,” she said.

Irish Times writer Miriam Lord described Sarkozy as being “very touchy-feely” and said he had caressed the hand of Cowen, sometimes known in the press as Biffo.

“The Taoiseach (prime minister) put them (his hands) behind his back in case it happened again. Then, the French president made a lunge for Biffo and kissed him on both cheeks.

“Biffo air-kissed gamely, making a disconcerting sloshing noise, but you could see he was mortified.

“A French kiss for an Irish Taoiseach on the steps of government buildings. That’s Europe for you,” Lord wrote.

Meanwhile, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has articulated his objections to Sarkozy’s new Mediterranean Union (MU), instituted on July 13 by the EU states in cooperation with the countries bordering the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, including Israel. Only Libya has refused to join the MU. Like Muammar al-Qaddafi, Wade believes that the MU will divide the African Union into two zones, one consisting of North Africa that will enjoy close economic support from Europe, and another consisting of impoverished sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, Senegal’s president concludes, “Black Africa” will be forced into organizing a “United States of Africa.”

With North Africa turned towards the north, the Sahara will become just what we were fighting against, a wall that politically separates our continent into two parts. Europe is offering North African states infrastructure and roads as part of a basket of wedding gifts for the union. We’ve been asking for that in vain for a long time. Sub-Saharan Africa, black Africa, to call it by its name, is witnessing a “two-speed cooperation” by Europe which favours the Arab north of the world’s poorest continent. If we were all on the ground floor anyway, North Africa has just been moved up a floor. Black African states had little choice but to pursue more vigorously the goal of political and economic unity. We don’t have any other way than that of the United States of Africa which we can construct with the immense natural riches of our soil and sub-soil.

The North African countries must clearly choose, as Gaddafi has done, because evidently you can’t belong to two unions at the same time.

Wade is secretary-general of the ruling Senegalese Democratic Party, which was organized in 1974 under the auspices of the long-ruling, authoritarian Socialist Party of Senegal.

Among those states that have checked into the European/French president’s “Club Med” is Turkey. Turkish company Calik Holding is now seeking financial support from the MU secretariat for MedStream, a pipeline that will supply Israel with Caspian Sea natural gas and oil, as well as water and electricity, via Turkey:

Turkey’s Calik Holding is seeking French backing for a pipeline to carry oil, gas and water from Turkey to Israel. Calik has approached the Union for the Mediterranean, led by the French, to finance the feasibility study of the multi-purpose pipeline.

Calik executives met the French President’s special envoy at the Mediterranean Union summit held on July 13th, and sought investment funds from the union for the project. The project, known as MedStream, was well received by French officials and the prospective feasibility study was found eligible for funding. A final decision will be made following a September meeting to be attended by ministers of the European Union and Mediterranean countries.

Turkey and Israel plan to start building the 5 billion Euro pipeline in 2009 to transport Caspian natural gas and oil, water and electricity under the Mediterranean Sea.

The MedStream initiative, in collaboration with the corrupt regime of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, will further consolidate Eurostan’s hold over Israel. The Jewish nation will be reduced to a mere vassal state, like the ancient Roman province of Judea.

>EU File: Serbian authorities arrest Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serb leader on the run since 1995; Zyuganov denounces arrest in harshest terms

>Long-time fugitive from international justice and alleged war criminal Radovan Karadzic was arrested by Serbian authorities yesterday. On the run since 1995 the 63-year-old Bosnian Serb leader was, like Slobodan Milosevic, a protege of Yugoslav communist politician and writer Dobrica Ćosić. The willingness of the crypto-communist regime in Belgrade to arrest Karadzic signals Serbia’s intention to join and infiltrate the European Union, itself characterized by Mikhail Gorbachev as the “new European Soviet.” Karadzic awaits trial under a United Nations tribunal in The Hague. Karadzic’s former military commander and hardened communist Ratko Mladic is still at large and now the most wanted fugitive from the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. Pictured above: Karadzic, then and now.

Europe Hails Karadzic Arrest in Belgrade
By Sonja Pace London
22 July 2008

European politicians have welcomed the arrest of former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who is wanted for war crimes committed in Bosnia during the 1990’s. VOA’s Sonja Pace reports from London Karadzic is expected to be extradited to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague. After being on the run for more than a decade, Radovan Karadzic was arrested by Serb security forces and is in custody in Belgrade.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the arrest shows the Serbian government’s readiness to move closer to the European Union.

“We have always believed that Serbia has a place in the European family and a place in the European family depends on economics, it depends on culture, it depends on politics, but it also depends on the European values of justice and human rights,” he said.

There has been increasing pressure on Belgrade from the European Union and the United States to track down accused war criminals. Karadzic and his one-time military commander Ratko Mladic topped the list. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer also welcomed the arrest and said it shows the new government in Belgrade is cooperating.

Bosnian Serb Leader Radovan Karadzic in an April 1996 file photo during and on the right, Karadzic in an undated photo released by Belgrade’s “Healthy Life” magazineFormer British foreign secretary and Balkans peace negotiator David Owen says the EU approach of supporting democratic forces in Serbia by opening a dialogue with Belgrade on possible EU membership has borne fruit.

“I think the political judgment was you had to show more warmth and more recognition of the problems they face if you were going to get results and they have now got results,” said Owen. Owen was interviewed on British radio. He said that while Belgrade has taken an important step in arresting Karadzic, it faces an even more daunting task of tracking down and arresting Mladic.

Speaking for the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, prosecution spokeswoman Olga Kavran said the arrest of Karadzic should serve as a warning to others.

“It clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law, and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to justice,” she said.Karadzic remains in custody in Belgrade as legal requirements are fulfilled to allow his transfer to the U.N. tribunal.

Source: Voice of America

Not surprisingly, Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov has condemned Karadzic’s arrest, comparing the Bosnian Serb leader’s “plight” to that of deceased communist dictator Slobodan Milosevic, another “victim” of Western imperialism. Zyuganov also has choice words for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, describing the United Nations tribunal as a “punitive body, which is carrying out reprisal against the Serbs.”

The Russian Communist Party categorically condemns the actions taken by the Serb authorities, which, giving in to the blackmail of the West, intend to extradite Karadzic to the biased court in The Hague. A number of Western countries have used all forms of political, economic and media pressure on the Serb authorities on this matter [and] the pro-Western government of Serbia has taken this unseemly step. The possible extradition of Karadzic to the ICTY is a desecration of the idea of international justice.

The Hague tribunal has turned into a punitive body, which is carrying out reprisal against the Serbs. This is confirmed by the death of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic in a ICTY prison, and also the deaths of two other Serb leaders, who died in ICTY prisons or during arrests. The same is indicated by the years-long imprisonment of Vojislav Sheshel in an ICTY prison. Karadzic’s arrest is especially outrageous with the background of the rulings issued in the cases involving Croatian and Albanian criminals responsible for the gruesome killings of civilians, ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of Yugoslavia, who have been cleared by the ICTY.

The ICTY is to stop its operation before the end of this year under a decision made by the UN Security Council. This leads us to believe that Karadzic’s arrest is aimed at creating a pretext for the resumption of the operation of this illegitimate body, which costs up a quarter of a billion dollars each year to maintain.

It is clear from Zyuganov’s comments that Karadzic played an important role in the wider Soviet strategic deception, designed to propagate the falsehood that world communism in general and Yugoslav communism in particular is dead. The Soviet communist leader’s comments are also disengenuous because the UN is a communist project while Serbia’s new “pro”-Western government is comprised in part by Milosevic’s Socialist Party of Serbia, which was formerly known as the League of Communists of Serbia.

>USA File: Air Force General Schwartz’s reply to Kremlin warmongering: Russia will cross "red line" if bombers deployed in Cuba, USA to "stand strong"

>US Air Force General Norton Schwartz, whose nomination to become that branch’s top military officer is being considered by the Senate, has issued a stern warning to Russia following the Kremlin’s arms-length threat in the neo-Soviet media to station strategic bombers in Cuba. Gen. Schwartz rumbled during a meeting of the Senate Arms Service Committee: “I certainly would offer best military advice that we should engage the Russians not to pursue that approach. And if they did, I think we should stand strong and indicate that that is something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line for the United States of America.” If the Senate wants to contribute to US national security and preserve its own existence, its members should seriously consider Gen. Schwartz’s nomination. Schwartz and freedom-loving patriots like him are the sort of military leaders the West needs to counter Communist Bloc aggression.

U.S. general warns against Russian bombers in Cuba
Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:44pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. Air Force officer warned on Tuesday that Russia would be crossing “a red line” if it were to use Cuba as a refueling base for nuclear-capable bombers.

Gen. Norton Schwartz, whose nomination to become the Air Force’s top military officer is being considered by the Senate, was asked at his confirmation hearing how he would advise U.S. policymakers if Russia were to proceed with such a plan.

Russia’s Izvestia newspaper this week quoted a “highly placed source” as saying Russia could land Tu-160 supersonic bombers nicknamed “White Swans” in Cuba as a response to a planned U.S. missile defense shield in Europe, which Moscow opposes.

“I certainly would offer best military advice that we should engage the Russians not to pursue that approach,” Schwartz told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“And if they did, I think we should stand strong and indicate that that is something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line for the United States of America.”

Russian Defense Ministry officials have tried to pour cold water on the report, saying the newspaper story was written under a false name and quoted a source at an organization that did not exist.

The suggestion of Russian nuclear weapons in Cuba is reminiscent of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis that followed the discovery of Soviet missile bases on the Caribbean island.

The two-week crisis appeared to draw the Cold War to the verge of World War III, as President John F. Kennedy responded to the threat by authorizing a naval blockade of Cuba.

In the end, the Soviets agreed to dismantle the missile sites in exchange for a U.S. non-invasion pledge and a secret deal to remove American missiles from Turkey.

>EU/USSR2 Files: Putin orders Transneft to guarantee oil supplies to Czech Republic, exposes Prague’s deceptive role in US NMD agreement

>Today the independent Moscow Times reported that Russia’s KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin “ordered” state-owned Transneft to restore “full oil supplies” to the Czech Republic, even though the faux rightist regime in Prague is ostensibly pro-Washington by virtue of the deal that it has cut with the USA to host a “European Midcourse Radar Base” on its soil. This is more than just a business decision because the neo-Soviet leadership fulminates on a weekly basis over US NMD plans in Central Europe and yesterday went so far as to leak into the Kremlin media a warning to the West to the effect that Russia will station its bombers in Cuba in response to “US aggression.”

In addition to the shady links that Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek have with the old communist regime in Prague, this latest development actually reveals that the Czech leadership is still beholden to Moscow for political guidance under the shadow of natural resources blackmail. Klaus and Topolanek are obviously doing something right from the vantage of the Moscow Leninists. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic’s open communists rant and rave over Prague’s military alliance with the USA. Pictured above: Putin visits Klaus in Prague in 2006.

Putin Says Oil Supplies Must Reach Czechs
22 July 2008

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the guarantee of full oil supplies to the Czech Republic and sought to deny that disruptions in July were linked to Prague’s role in a U.S. missile-defense shield.

“I’m calling on you to treat this matter carefully and work out [the measures] with all the partners so that there are no interruptions,” Putin told government officials, Interfax reported. “[Disruptions] are not directly linked to Russian oil suppliers,” Putin added after being briefed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who blamed trading intermediaries for lower supplies.

State officials have said the cuts in flows to the Czech Republic via the Druzhba pipeline were of a technical nature after analysts said they suspected it could have been a retaliation by Moscow to Prague’s decision to host a radar station as part of a U.S. missile shield.

Traders have been more skeptical about the political context of the cut, saying they believed that it could be linked to a fight by the new management of pipeline monopoly Transneft to change the key coordinator on the route, trading firm Fisotra.

Sechin indirectly confirmed it. “Russian oil supplies are being made based on agreements between Russian firms and Czech consumers via intermediaries, which are registered in offshore zones,” he said, Interfax reported.

“The overwhelming majority of Russian companies don’t have direct long-term supply deals with Czech consumers,” he said, adding that the presence of intermediaries “was not guaranteeing implementation of agreed export volumes.” Russia opposes the missile-shield plan involving its Soviet-era satellite countries, saying it poses a direct threat to its own security.

Moscow has in the past cut gas supplies to Ukraine in a pricing dispute and subsequently reduced deliveries of gas to the European Union, prompting the United States to call on Russia to stop using energy as a tool of blackmail. Sechin criticized Ukraine’s plans to reverse the direction of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline this year, citing concerns over stability of Russian crude supplies to Europe.

Ukraine now uses the pipeline in the opposite direction to ship Russian crude to the Mediterranean. “This is a concern for Russian companies supplying crude to Central Europe. These companies will have to look for other delivery routes,” Sechin said, Interfax reported.

SNIP

Yesterday the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance released the following story: “Last Friday evening in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States for the first time, successfully integrated and validated four diverse tracking and discriminatory sensor radars against a three stage, long range ballistic missile dispersing countermeasures and decoys over the Pacific Ocean.” In attendance for the test at the Missile Defense Integration and Operating Center at Schriever Air Force Base was the Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova as well as high-ranking US officials.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Defense Ministry denies bombers to be stationed in Cuba, Chavez takes arms shopping list on 7th Moscow trip

>– Backfire Bombers Hold Live-Fire Tactical Exercise in East Siberia

– Collective Security Treaty Organization Begins Rubezh-2008 Exercise in Armenia

Yesterday the Kremlin media warned the West that the Russian Air Force would deploy its strategic bombers to communist ally Cuba to counter US National Missile Defense plans in Poland the Czech Republic, two countries that remain under Moscow’s covert influence. Today the Russian Defense Ministry “poured cold water” on the report, which cited a “highly placed source” in the military aviation complex and which initially appeared in the Russian daily Izvestia. However, the initial report with its cover of plausible deniability has served its purpose and now the Moscow Leninists can sit back and watch how the story plays out in Washington. Pictured above: Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev welcomes Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Moscow today.

Russian military scoffs at Cuba refuelling report
Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:18pm BST
By Dmitry Solovyov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Defence Ministry officials on Monday poured cold water on a newspaper report that suggested Moscow could use Cuba as a refuelling base for nuclear-capable bombers.

Izvestia newspaper quoted a “highly placed source” as saying Russia could land Tu-160 supersonic bombers nicknamed “White Swans” in Cuba as a response to a planned U.S. missile defence shield in Europe which Moscow opposes.

“Will the White Swan settle on the Island of Freedom ? Russian military aircraft may return to Cuba,” it said in a front-page headline.

The newspaper cited a “highly placed interlocutor in the headquarters of strategic aviation” as saying the possibility of using Cuba for landing the supersonic bombers had been discussed but no political decision had been taken on this.

The Kremlin declined immediate comment. The Defence Ministry questioned the story, saying it was written under a false name and quoted a source at an organisation that did not exist.

“Were our strategic bombers ever deployed in Cuba before?” a Defence Ministry official said when contacted by Reuters by telephone and asked whether bombers would be “returning” to the Caribbean island, 90 miles (150 km) from the U.S. coast.

Izvestia editor-in-chief Vladimir Mamontov stood by the story and said several of his journalists had worked under a pseudonym because of the story’s sensitivity.

“The first remark was really made by a very competent person,” Mamontov told Reuters.
Russia says U.S. plans to place parts of a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic threaten its security and that it will take unspecified retaliatory measures.

Former Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Moscow to pull out from a Cold-War listening post on Cuba in 2001 but ordered the military last August to resume Cold War-era flights of strategic bombers around the globe.

Pictured here: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin welcomes Chavez to Moscow today. This is Comrade Hugo’s seventh trip to the neo-Soviet capital since becoming president of Venezuela in 1999. Chavez, who enjoys a close friendship with both Putin and Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov, once again brought a shopping list of military hardware and joint economic projects to present to his Soviet masters. He pledged to deepen bilateral cooperation between Caracas and Moscow, promising to buy more Russian combat aircraft, helicopters, and diesel submarines. Thus far, Red Venezuela has purchased more than 50 combat helicopters, 24 Su-30MK2 fighter jets, and 100,000 Ak-103 rifles. The Bolivarian Republic also holds a license for the production of the same rifles. All together Comrade Hugo has blown more than US$4 billion at the Moscow arms bazaar, and plans to blow another US$30 over the next four years.

Kremlin-run Novosti, citing Cuba’s Prensa Latina news agency, quoted Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as saying that the “Caracas-Moscow partnership was significant for the whole of South America, not just Venezuela.” Indeed, Hugo is merely following in Fidel’s bloody footsteps, although sustained by the revenue of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.

Venezuelan president arrives in Moscow – 2
12:4822/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for “strategic” talks on political, economic and defense cooperation.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will receive Chavez later on Tuesday. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is also expected to meet with the Venezuelan leader.

Upon his arrival in Moscow, Chavez called for Russia and Venezuela to become strategic partners in oil and defense, something he said would “guarantee Venezuela’s sovereignty, which is currently being threatened by the United States.”

Ahead of his two-day visit, Chavez thanked Moscow for its recent support, including the provision of loans for the modernization of Venezuela’s armed forces.

He also pledged to develop further bilateral cooperation with Moscow, saying that
Venezuela would continue to buy Russian military hardware, including combat aircraft and helicopters.

Venezuela has bought over 50 combat helicopters, 24 Su-30MK2 fighters, and 100,000 Ak-103 rifles from Russia. It also holds a license for the production of the aforementioned military hardware. The current contracts are worth about $4 billion.

“I hope we will sign a number of contracts we have been working on over the past few years, including in the energy sphere and on defense cooperation,” the Venezuelan leader said.

Moscow plans to start supplying Venezuela with at least ten Mi-28N helicopters in the second half of 2009.

The two countries have also negotiated the delivery of three Russian Project 636 Kilo-class diesel submarines and at least 20 Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Caracas. Contracts for these two deals, if signed, may be worth another $1 billion.

The Spanish news agency Efe earlier said the potential acquisition of tanks by Venezuela could be discussed during the talks.

The Venezuelan leader will also hold a meeting with officials from the Il aircraft manufacturer, and defense contracts are also expected to be signed. The Latin American country is interested in purchasing about 20 Il-114 patrol aircraft, some Russian sources said.

In line with the state program for the modernization of the armed forces until 2012, Venezuela is planning to spend about $30 bln in the next four years on the purchase of weaponry abroad.

The deals may see Russia become the main supplier of military equipment to Venezuela. Chavez, an outspoken critic of Washington, has focused his foreign policy on bolstering ties with countries outside the U.S. sphere of influence since coming to power nine years ago.

Chavez also plans to discuss the establishment of a Russian-Venezuelan bank to finance joint projects. The Venezuelan government has already made amendments to the law on the Central Bank for the purpose.

The Prensa Latina news agency earlier quoted Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as saying that the Caracas-Moscow partnership was significant for the whole of South America, not just Venezuela.

Pictured here: Closet communist Putin and open communist Zyuganov swap notes at a July 18, 2008 meeting.

The Russian military continues to prepare for the Fourth World War in the latest round of live-fire missile drills in East Siberia. Although the Novosti report below refers to the Tu-22 Blinder tactical bomber, the picture provided on that webpage is the variant known as the Tu-22M Backfire. The Blinder was first commissioned for the Soviet Air Force in 1962 but was gradually phased out of service in favor of the more capable Backfire, which forms part of the current Russian Air Force. It appears, therefore, that Novosti probably means the Backfire, rather than the Blinder.

Five Russian Tu-22 Blinder bombers will fire live missiles at a test range in East Siberia’s Irkutsk Region during tactical exercises starting on Wednesday, the Air Force said on Tuesday. Spokesman Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said the three-man crews will receive training in combat flight theory and enhance their aviation weaponry skills. “The exercises will last until July 25, and five Tu-22 aircraft will take part in them. The bomber crews will also master interoperability with other Air Force branches and Air Defense units,” he said. The Tu-22 supersonic bomber was designed by the Tupolev aerospace and defense company and entered service in the Soviet Air Force in 1962. The jet has been used by the air forces of several countries including Libya and Iraq.

As previously reported, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (flag below), which is the military pact undergirding the Commonwealth of Independent States, is beginning the first stage of a command-and-staff exercise that will bring together troops from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The scenario envisioned by the Rubezh-2008 planners depicts a defensive operation in which one member of the CIS is under attack by a hostile external state. State-run Itar-Tass reports: “During the first and second stages a procedure of drafting some proposals to the Collective Security Council in order to give military and military-technical assistance to a CSTO country, which was attacked. The second stage of the exercise will be held in Russia at the CSTO joint headquarters. At the third stage the CSTO states will train a military operation for the protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the ‘attacked’ country. The fourth stage envisages a defense operation.” CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha is a career Chekist.

First stage of CSTO command-staff exercise begins in Armenia
22.07.2008, 13.58

MOSCOW, July 22 (Itar-Tass) – The first stage of the joint complex command-staff exercise Rubezh (Border) – 2008 of the member-countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) began in Armenia on Tuesday.

“The first and second phases of the exercise are political ones, during which a situation will be modelled to outline the steps of the CSTO member-countries and the organisation on the whole in order to alleviate tensions fanned up in the collective security region as a result of the actions undertaken by the destructive third forces, and the political settlement of the conflict will be practiced,” the press service of the CSTO Secretariat told Itar-Tass.

“The first and second stages for the CSTO Secretariat as a political body of the organisation are more interesting than the next stages, at which only military actions are planned,” CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha believes. According to the CSTO Secretariat, Bordyuzha will attend personally the first stage of the exercise on Tuesday.

The exercise Border-2008 is held under the decision taken by the CSTO supreme body – the Collective Security Council.

The exercise will be held in four phases in Armenia and Russia. During the first and second stages a procedure of drafting some proposals to the Collective Security Council in order to give military and military-technical assistance to a CSTO country, which was attacked. The second stage of the exercise will be held in Russia at the CSTO joint headquarters. At the third stage the CSTO states will train a military operation for the protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the ‘attacked’ country. The fourth stage envisages a defense operation.

The exercise will have a purely anti-terrorist and command-staff thrust, “so, no major troop transfers are planned,” Bordyuzha told reporters earlier.

The CSTO brings together Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

>Africa File: Russia ships MiG-29 fighter jets to Sudan via Belarus, African Union resists ICC war crimes indictment against President Beshir

>– Kremlin Media: Rosoboronexport Denies Involvement in Military Aircraft Shipments to Sudan

– Darfur Rebels Shoot Down MiG-29 Fighter Jet in May 2008, Russian Pilot Killed

– Russian Peacekeepers Join European Union Forces in Chad, United Nations-African Union Forces in Sudan

Even as Russian peacekeeping troops join the European Union force in war-torn Chad, in neighboring Sudan Khartoum’s genocidal Islamo-Marxist regime is taking delivery of a consignment of 12 MiG-29 fighter jets and resisting attempts, with the assistance of African Union leaders, by the International Criminal Court to indict Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir on war crimes charges (pictured above). According to a source close to the Sudan Tribune, Khartoum negotiated the transfer of the Russian military aircraft through Belarus. Since 2003 the Sudanese government has been involved in putting down a rebellion in the Darfur region of western Sudan, instigated by the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. In Chad the rebel Union of Forces for Democracy and Development are seeking to dislodge the regime of President Idriss Déby. Beshir and Déby have accused the other of backing the insurgents in the other’s country. We have already commented on Minsk’s middleman status between Russia and Venezuela.

Sudan receives new shipment of Russian fighter jets
Monday 21 July 2008 04:00.

By Wasil Ali
July 20, 2008 (WASHINGTON) — A shipment of new Russian MIG-29 tactical fighters has recently arrived into Sudan from Belarus, a source familiar with the matter told Sudan Tribune today.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said that a dozen MIG-29 combat fighters were shipped discreetly by planes through a Belarusian company two weeks ago.

However he could not confirm whether the fighters were actually sold by Belarus or they simply came through the East European country.

The planes are now in the Wadi Sayedna air base, the source added.

Belarus is one of the Sudan armament providers. A military cooperation protocol covering training, exchange of experiences, and military science fields was inked between the two countries in June 2006.

If the MIG-29’s are used in Darfur it would be in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1591 which prohibits selling arms to Sudan government or Darfur rebels for use in the war ravaged region.

Last year Russia was accused by Amnesty International (AI) supplying arms to Sudan for use in Darfur but the Russian foreign ministry denied the charge.

Last May a MIG-29 was shot down by Darfur rebels over the Sudanese twin capital city of Omdurman and its Russian pilot was killed.

Today’s story in the Sudan Tribune was picked by the Kremlin media here. The Sudanese Air Force first started taking delivery of the MiG-29 fighter jet in 2004, following the December 2001 deal that arranged the transfer. On July 22 the neo-Soviet media denied reports that Russian state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport was involved in deliveries of jet fighters to Sudan. “Rosoboronexport has not been directly or indirectly involved in the delivery of MiG-29 fighters to Sudan,” company spokesentity Vyacheslav Davidenko intoned. Last year Amnesty International accused Russia of supplying arms to Sudan for use against the Darfur rebels, but the Russian Foreign Ministry repudiated the allegation. In addition to deploying an air group to Chad, reports Novosti, the Russian Air Force has committed 120 personnel and four Mi-8 helicopters to the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan. In May 2008 Darful rebels shot down a MiG-29 over the Sudanese town of Omdurman. The plane’s Russian pilot was killed.

>DEFCON 1 ALERT: Cuban Missile Crisis 2: Russia threatens to deploy strategic bombers in Cuba to counter US NMD plans in Central Europe

>While they [the Americans] are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba.
— Senior Russian military aviation source, quoted by Izvestia, July 21, 2008

– Russian Military Transport Aircraft Regularly Fly To Cuba

– Retired US Air Force Commander: Revitalized Russian Bomber Exercises “Sophisticated Attack Training Maneuvers”

We reserve our DEFCON 1 ALERT for flagrant intrusions by the Communist Bloc militaries into the NATO-NORAD defense command regions. This, in fact, is our second DEFCON 1 ALERT post since starting our blog in January 2006. Below is a top-priority news item, published today in the Kremlin media, that offers some insight into the thought processes of the Moscow Leninists. The neo-Soviet leadership is apparently considering the deployment of strategic bombers to Cuba as a response to US National Missile Defense plans in Central Europe and the proposed membership of former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia in NATO.

Novosti quotes General Pyotr Deinekin, former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, as saying: “If these plans are being considered, it would be a good response to the attempts to place NATO bases near the Russian borders. I do not see anything wrong with it because nobody listens to our objections when they place airbases and electronic monitoring and surveillance stations near our borders.” This is standard operating procedure for both Moscow and Beijing: send ominous warnings to Washington via government-funded think tanks or “retired” politicians and military brass.

In June 2008 retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, who commanded NORAD’s Alaska region during the Cold War, described Russia’s revitalized long-range bomber missions as “coordinated attacks coming into our air defense identification zone. They are very sophisticated attack training maneuvers. These incursions are far more sophisticated than anything we had seen before.”

Russia needs bombers in Cuba due to NATO expansion – ex-commander
14:5321/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) – The possible deployment of Russian strategic bombers in Cuba may be an effective response to the placement of NATO bases near Russia’s borders, a former Air Force commander said on Monday.

Russian daily Izvestia earlier on Monday cited a senior Russian military source as saying that Russian strategic bombers could be stationed again in Cuba, only 90 miles from the U.S. coast, in response to the U.S. missile shield in Europe.

“If these plans are being considered, it would be a good response to the attempts to place NATO bases near the Russian borders,” Gen. of the Army Pyotr Deinekin told RIA Novosti.

“I do not see anything wrong with it because nobody listens to our objections when they place airbases and electronic monitoring and surveillance stations near our borders,” the general said.

However, Deinekin said the possibility of Russian bombers being stationed in Cuba is largely hypothetical, because Russia’s Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers are both capable of reaching the U.S. coast, patrolling the area for about 1.5 hours, and returning to airbases in Russia with mid-air refueling.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by former president Vladimir Putin. Russian bombers have since carried out over 80 strategic patrol flights and have often been escorted by NATO planes.

Deinekin suggested that Cuba could be used as a refueling stopover for Russian aircraft rather than as a permanent base, because the Russian political and military leadership would be unlikely to take such a drastic step under current global political conditions.

In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to the brink of nuclear war when Soviet missiles were stationed in Cuba.

The crisis was resolved after 12 days when the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, backed down and ordered the missiles removed.

Moscow had a military presence on Cuba for almost four decades after that, maintaining an electronic listening post at Lourdes, about 20 km (12.5 miles) from Havana, to monitor U.S. military moves and communications.

Russia was paying $200 million a year to lease the base, which it closed down in January 2002.

Bloomberg picked up the story here, noting that Russian military transport aircraft regularly fly to Cuba on contracts for private companies. In January 2008 Andrei Lugovoi, a “former” FSB officer and the alleged murderer of Russian spy Alexander Livtinenko, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying: “I don’t agree that the Cold War is back. It has never ended.” In view of the latest rumblings from Moscow, Agent Lugovoi’s comment has become self-evident.

The Czech Ministry of Defense reacted with surprise at reports that Russian bombers may either be stationed or refuel in Cuba. “Something like that is hard to believe, someone may confuse the 50-year-old history with the present,” ministry spokesentity Andrej Cirtek related to Prague’s CTK news agency today, alluding to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. We have previously documented the fact that the Czech Republic’s faux rightist regime has been working hand in glove with the Moscow Leninists to portray the USA as the aggressor in the dispute over NMD.

In a related story Novosti cites Russian daily Izvestia, which quotes a “high-placed military aviation source” in Moscow, who warned: “While they [the Americans] are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba.” This article also cites Leonid Ivashov, former chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Department for International Cooperation and current president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, who informed Izvestia that Cuba could be used as “a refueling stopover for Russian aircraft rather than as a permanent base.”

Russian combat aircraft could return to Cuba – paper
11:1321/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian combat aircraft could return to Cuba in a bid to counter U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe, a Russian daily reported on Monday.

Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the U.S. of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an accompanying radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its national security. Washington says the defenses are needed to deter a possible strike from Iran, or other “rogue” states.

“While they are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba,” a high-placed military aviation source told the Izvestia newspaper.

Russia’s Tu-160 (Blackjack) and Tu-95 (Bear) strategic bombers are both capable of reaching Cuba.

However, while the source admitted that the possibility of Russian bombers being stationed in Cuba was for now just a hypothetical possibility, he also noted that the rumors had not appeared from out of thin air.

At the same time, Leonid Ivashov, the former head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s department for international cooperation, and currently president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told Izvestia that Cuba could be used as a refueling stopover for Russian aircraft rather than as a permanent base.

In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis saw a tense standoff between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. when Soviet missiles were stationed in Cuba. As the world held its breath, President John F. Kennedy opted to launch a blockade of Cuba rather than invade, as some American military commanders wanted. The crisis was resolved after 12 days when the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, backed down and ordered the missiles removed.

The first article above notes that Russia maintained an electronic spy base near Havana until January 2002. In a December 2001 article Dr. Alexandr Nemets and Dr. Thomas Torda assert that the military and civilian aviation data surreptiously collected by the Kremlin’s Lourdes base was used by the September 11 skyjackers to execute their terrorist plot with military precision

American special services have information that terrorist Mohamed Atta, the key figure behind the 9-11 attacks, had connections to the Cuban intelligence services and in spring 1999 met with their high-ranking representative in Miami, Fla. – not far from the site where the future suicide squad got its flight school training.

The Lourdes base, in addition to secret missions, was also tasked with active tracking of air flights of all kinds throughout the U.S. The center had a full set of flight codes for the U.S. Air Force and civilian airlines. Once, in 1999, the center broke into the U.S. air traffic control system and sent – with the help of a powerful, 1,500-kilowatt transmitter – a fake flight signal, which almost caused a serious accident in the air.

In short, the Lourdes center had accumulated a huge database on U.S. civilian airline routes, schedules and procedures. Cuba very likely shared this information with al-Qaeda – which may explain the devilish professionalism behind the 9-11 attacks.

The latest buzz emanating from the Kremlin media proves that the Moscow-Havana Axis is still tight and committed to overthrowing the USA.

Meanwhile, a US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, the backbone of America’s strategic nuclear bomber fleet, crashed near Guam today. Two crew members have been rescued, while four are still missing. In February a B-2 Spirit crashed at Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base just after takeoff in the first-ever crash of a stealth bomber.

>USSR2 File: Soviet leadership poses for photo op at Medvedev’s country residence; sells fighter jets to Serbia; woos Iran, India, Pakistan into SCO

>On July 12, 2008 the neo-Soviet leadership convened in an informal atmosphere, with their fishing rods, at Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev’s country residence in Zavidovo, near Moscow. Unlike then President Vladimir Putin’s bare-chested, macho-man fishing expedition last year, Russia’s otherwise staid communist leaders kept their shirts on.

In attendance with Soviet Komsomol graduate Medvedev were the leaders of the State Duma parliamentary factions: State Duma Speaker, United Russia Supreme Council Chairman, and Soviet Komsomol graduate Boris Gryzlov; Federation Council Speaker, Just Russia leader and Soviet Army veteran Sergei Mironov; Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader and alleged KGB agent Vladimir Zhirinovsky; and Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov, whom we consider to be the power behind the throne in Moscow, along with August 1991 coup mastermind Oleg Shenin. Zyuganov pretends to be Prime Minister Putin’s opponent, while the other men line up obediently behind Russia’s KGB dictator. However, as we repeatedly point out at this blog, everyone’s on the Red Team in Russia.

Pictured above: Zyuganov reels in a catch; pictured below: Russia’s communist leadership rolls up its collectivist sleeves and gets down to business. What was on the agenda at “President” Medvedev’s not-so-modest dacha? We can only speculate.

However, perhaps Moscow’s Leninist schemers were brooding over Russia’s tight strategic partnership with Serbia, the Balkan rump state that once formed the nucleus of communist and “post”-communist Yugoslavia. The government in Belgrade consists of President Boris Tadic’s pro-European Union Democratic Party and the pro-Moscow, “ex”-communist Socialist Party of Serbia. This week Seriban Foreign Minister Vuc Jeremic journeyed to Moscow where he met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. State-run Voice of Russia reports that the crypto-communist regimes in Moscow and Belgrade share a common foreign policy with respect to resisting de facto Kosovar independence:

Russia will provide support to Serbia as before, the country`s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced during the meeting with his Serbian counterpart Vuc Jeremic in Moscow. Mr. Lavrov confirmed that Russia would boost cooperation with Serbia in all spheres after the new Cabinet is formed in Belgrade. Mr. Jeremic said Serbia appreciated Russia’s position and support and added that Russia had always been and remains Serbia’s major ally. The sides have agreed to continue cooperation on Kosovo as both Moscow and Belgrade insists that the unilateral proclamation of independence violated a resolution of the UN Security Council and undermined Serbia`s territorial integrity.

On July 15 Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG announced that its pilots had completed a flight test program on four MiG-27 Flogger ground-attack aircraft to be delivered to the Serbian Air Force.

Perhaps, too, the neo-Soviet leadership was considering the agenda to be followed at the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet-and-greet to be held on July 25 in Dushanbe. A high-priority topic for discussion will be the lifting of a moratorium on the admission of new members. Observer state Iran has already applied for full membership in the SCO.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will possibly lift its moratorium on granting membership in the organization to newcomers. This will be the key topic on the agenda of the session of foreign ministers of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, united in the SCO, which will take place in Dushanbe on July 25th. Applications for interaction with the SCO, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking continue to come in from countries and international organizations. Among other things, the participants of the session will consider the possibility of establishing partnership contacts with them. At the moment India, Pakistan and Iran have an observer status in the organization.

If the Islamo-Nazi regime in Tehran realizes this objective, then Iran will safely enjoy the protection of the Moscow-Beijing Axis’s military umbrella should the USA and Israel decide to take out Iran’s nuclear power plants. Incidentally, Bible prophecy students will readily see in the SCO the scenario being laid out for the mid-tribulation Russian-Arab invasion of Israel described in Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39), as well as the Battle of Armageddon, in which the “kings of the east,” consisting probably of China, India, and the Central Asian republics, attack the European/ Mediterranean Union, then occupying Israel at the end of the tribulation (Revelation, chapters 9 and 16).

Mutual foes India and Pakistan also hold observer status. We have extensively documented the tight strategic partnership between Moscow and New Delhi. Meanwhile, the Soviets are also cultivating their alliance with the new socialist Pakistan People’s Party regime in Islamabad. State-run Itar-Tass reports on a meeting that took place today between the Pakistani prime minister and that country’s ambassador to Russia:

Pakistan attaches importance to relations with Russia, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said at a meeting with Pakistani ambassador to Russia Khalid Khattak on Thursday. He stressed that bilateral relations with Russia are built on mutual respect and coincidence of views on international and regional problems. The two countries have a strong cooperation potential in energy, communications and trade to tap. The ambassador assured the head of the government that he would do his utmost to further strengthen relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the Soviet strategists are playing a duplicitous double game with the shopping mall regimes by on the one hand participating in joint military maneuvers with NATO member states, such as the US-Russian Northern Eagle 2008 exercise to begin on July 21 in the Barents Sea, and on the other hand accusing the participating countries of the NATO-Ukraine naval exercise Sea Breeze 2008, underway in the Black Sea, of harboring “anti-Russian” intentions.

Russian warship arrives in Norway for Northern Eagle 2008 exercise
16:5717/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 17 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian ASW ship, the Severomorsk, arrived on Thursday in Norway’s main naval base of Haakonsvern on its way to participate in a joint U.S.-Russian naval exercise in the Barents Sea, a Navy spokesman said.

Northern Eagle 2008 is an annual naval exercise involving U.S. and Russian anti-submarine warfare ships. The ships practice maritime interdiction operations and search and rescue maneuvers. This year the exercise will also include two coast guard ships from the Norwegian navy.

“The Severomorsk ASW ship has accomplished its patrol mission in the Arctic and will participate in the Northern Eagle joint annual exercise with the U.S. navy,” Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

The U.S. Navy is represented by the guided-missile frigate USS Elrod, and a P-3 Orion aircraft, originally designed for anti-submarine warfare, but also used for search and rescue missions.

The active stage of the exercise will be held in the Barents Sea on July 21-25.

Later on Thursday, the Marshal Ustinov, a Russian Slava-class missile cruiser, will take over patrols in the area around the Arctic Ocean archipelago of Spitsbergen, which belongs to Norway.

Russia said on July 14 the Russian Navy had resumed a military presence around the Arctic Ocean, including the area of Spitsbergen.

Source: Novosti

In response to the NATO-Ukraine naval exercise, which has already generated protests by Ukrainian communists, the Russian Foreign Ministry charged today that “these war games with the anti-Russian thrust, as well as the participation of non-Black Sea littoral states in them cannot but arise some questions and concerns.” Itar-Tass continues to quote the same source: “Why was the Black Sea region picked up for practicing dubious aims of the exercises? The Black Sea littoral states can without foreign interference resolve the tasks of security and stability in the Black Sea with the assistance of the existing instruments of cooperation – the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group BLACKSEAFOR and the Black Sea Harmony Operation.” Such strident objections are accompanied by the resumption of long-range bomber missions even as the Moscow Leninists hold out the deceptive olive branch of East-West convergence.

>Blogger’s Note: Reclassification for United Kingdom’s Red World profile: IRA as "dormant communist insurgency"

>We strive for accuracy at Once Upon a Time in the West. Constructive visitor input is appreciated. A recent comment at our Red World country profiles suggested that our characterization of the United Kingdom as possessing a communist insurgency, in view of the dwindling terrorist activities of the Real and Provisional factions of the Irish Republican Army, was not correct. We agree. However, this profile was put together before Sinn Fein/Provisional IRA entered the Northern Ireland Executive in 2007. It should be noted that London still regards the Real IRA and the Provos as terrorist entities, implying that these groups have not been totally disbanded. We have therefore reclassified the UK as possessing a “dormant communist insurgency.”

Finally, in view of Sinn Fein’s participation in the coalition government in Belfast and its association with leftists and communists on the European Continent, we do not hesitate in describing the NI government as being “semi-communist.” We have also changed the color scheme for the UK in our Red World 2008 map, from purple to pink.

Pictured above: Stormont Castle, primary meeting place of the Northern Ireland Executive.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Backfire bombers test missiles over Barents Sea, Russian Army delegation visits India for mountain warfare training

>Neo-Soviet Russia continues to assert its sovereignty over the polar region in this latest display of cruise missile firepower. State-run Itar-Tass reports that two Tu-22M3 bombers completed a four-hour flight over the Barents Sea where they test-fired X-22 air-to-surface cruise missiles at sea-based targets. The Backfire-C, which is the NATO designation, is a supersonic, variable-wing aircraft with a maximum speed of Mach 2.3 and a range of 7,000 kilometres, or 4,971 miles. External wing and fuselage pylons and an internal weapons bay can carry 21,000 kilograms, or 46,300 pounds, of disposable ordnance. The Backfire pictured above sports the Bolshevik red star that emblazons the aircraft of the “post”-Soviet Russian Air Force.

Russia AF bombers test-fire missiles on Barents Sea targets
16.07.2008, 09.51

MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) – Two long-range bombers Tu-22 of the Russian Air Force have test-fired missiles on targets based in the Barents Sea, head of the information and public relations service of the Russian AF Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Drik told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

According to him, “Two Tu-22 planes of the Long-Range Aviation performed a four-hour flight over the Barents Sea area where carried out tactical missile launches on sea-based targets.”

In the words of the AF official, simultaneously “two Su-27 and four MiG-31 fighters practiced escorting and protection of the Long-Range Aviation planes, they also test-fired missiles.”

The Tu-22M3 long-range bomber and missile carrier (Backfire under NATO classification) with variable-geometry wing has the flight range of up to 7,000 kilometres and is capable of carrying three X-22 cruise missiles of the “air-to-surface” class for hitting sea- or land-based targets. The maximal bomb load of the plane is 24 tonnes, maximal speed – 2,300 kilometres per hour.

The Tupolev Tu-22M3 (Backfire-C NATO-codename) is a swing-wing, medium range bomber designed to strike targets in Western Europe and Asia using both nuclear and conventional weapons. It has been designed to penetrate enemy air defence at low altitude and supersonic speed making him more survivable than previous strike aircraft. In addition to the strike role, the Tu-22M3 can carry out reconnaissance and maritime patrol missions.

The nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 bomber features in-flight refuelling capability for extended range missions, which has been assumed as a capability for long-range strikes against the United States. The total number of Tu22Ms owned by Russia is less than 300 aircraft due to treaties between the former Soviet Union and the United States.

The Tu-22M3 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983. It is the last derivative of the proven Tu-22M medium range bomber. Compared to its predecessors it has an enhanced aerodynamic design and improved overall performance.

Meanwhile, Russia and India took their decades-old strategic partnership another step forward with the arrival of a delegation of Russian Army officers at a mountain combat training center in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s northernmost state. State-run Novosti reports that in 2007 Russia began deploying two brigades, consisting of a total of 4,500 contract soldiers, in the North Caucasus, near the mountainous border with Georgia.

Russian Army officers visit mountain combat center in India
15:44 14/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) – A delegation of Russian Ground Forces officers will learn about training troops for mountain warfare during a two-week trip to India that started on Monday, a spokesman for the Russian military said.

Deputy commander Lt. Gen. Valery Yevnevich, along with officers from Russia’s mountain brigades and the Far Eastern Military Command officer training school, will visit a training center in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s northernmost state, “to see how the Indian troops train for mountainous operations,” Col. Igor Konashenkov said.

The visit, which runs until July 30, was agreed in Moscow on June 24 by India’s Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, and Russia’s Ground Forces commander, Gen. Alexei Maslov, as part of an extensive military cooperation program.

Russia began deploying two mountain brigades in the North Caucasus last year, near the mountainous border with Georgia. The two brigades are made up of contract soldiers, totaling about 4,500 personnel.

The Indian Army has 10 divisions dedicated to mountain warfare and another infantry division earmarked for high-altitude operations. They are deployed in strategically important areas along the borders with its traditional rivals, Pakistan and China.

India and Russia have a long history of military cooperation, which goes back almost half a century. The existing Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation program, which lasts until 2010, includes up to 200 projects worth about $18 billion in all, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Vladimir Putin Appointed Prime Minister of Union State of Russia and Belarus, Contrary to Earlier Kremlin Denials

The crypto-communist regimes in Moscow and Tblisi are presently engaged in a disengenuous dispute over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the primary purpose of which appears to confuse Western analysts into believing that Russia is in no position to wage war against the NATO-NORAD states. The unrecognized regimes in Georgia’s secessionist republics recently expressed an interest in joining the Union State of Russia and Belarus, a building block of the soon-to-be-restored Soviet Union. Other former Soviet republics and Soviet Bloc states that have articulated a desire in combining with the Union State are Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Serbia.

On May 27, 2008 Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, acting in his capacity as Chairman of the Union State Supreme State Council appointed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Chairman of the Union State Council of Ministers. Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev signed the same executive order. This appointment contradicts official Kremlin denials that were issued prior to Russia’s last fraudulent election season and, thus, demonstrates the veracity of earlier rumors that Putin, upon leaving the Russian presidency, would assume an executive-level role in the Union State.

>Latin America File: State oil workers at Brazil’s main production hub continue strike, petroleum agency’s communist chief manipulates markets

>The record-high prices of crude futures stumbled again today, falling from US$147 to $132 per barrel, only to meet–just in time–a walk out by Brazilian state oil workers. Yesterday Reuters reported, below, that “Oil workers in the Campos Basin, which produces 80 percent of Brazil’s crude, entered their second day of a five-day strike and said no sit down with the state-run energy company Petrobras was scheduled.” Pictured above: On March 26, 2008 Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (right) and co-revolutionary Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez shake hands at the refinery that state-run entities Petrobras and PDVSA are jointly building in Recife, capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco.

Brazil oil workers may extend strike to refineries
Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:01pm BST

SAO PAULO, July 15 (Reuters) – Oil workers in Brazil may extend a five-day strike that started in the country’s main production hub to the rest of the country and include refineries and shipping terminals, union officials said Tuesday.

Oil workers in the Campos Basin, which produces 80 percent of Brazil’s crude, entered their second day of a five-day strike and said no sit down with the state-run energy company Petrobras was scheduled.

The national United Oil Workers’ Federation umbrella union, known as FUP, will meet Tuesday to discuss a wider strike over profit-sharing demands.

“Petrobras has said their offer is final, so we are now going to have some arm wrestling with them over that,” said Jose Genivaldo Silva, a director at the FUP. “Our strike proposal would affect the entire country and also include refineries and terminals.”

Petrobras implemented a contingency plan to shore up oil output with emergency staff on most platforms in the Campos Basin. The company said late Monday it was producing at 96 percent of its capacity of 1.8 million barrels per day.

Supply Director Paulo Roberto Costa had said output could recover fully by the end of Monday, but he and Petrobras officials were not available early on Tuesday.

“Petrobras has thin staffs that are not the best qualified people on those platforms. If something goes wrong, it will be a big problem,” said Aviraldo Menezes, director of the Norte Fluminense Oil Workers Union that covers oil workers on platforms in the Campos Basin.

A five-day nationwide strike of Petrobras workers in 2001 seriously reduced output and forced Brazil to import additional oil. Unions and the company have resolved their differences over the past few years without stoppages hurting production.

Initially localized in the Campos Basin, the United Oil Workers’ Federation’s five-day strike is garnering support throughout the country. Today FUP announced that unionized oilfield workers throughout Brazil would implement a 48-hour sympathy strike that will not contribute additional output disruptions. On July 14 BBC journalist Gary Duffy, who is based in Sao Paulo, correctly predicted that the Petrobras dispute had the “potential to escalate.”

The leftist government of President Lula da Silva, led by the Workers’ Party and the Communist Party of Brazil, is definitely aiding and abetting the Communist Bloc’s scheme to trash capitalism by forcing up oil prices to economy-stopping prices. In April, for example, Harold Lima, president of National Petroleum Agency, which regulates the Brazilian oil industry, announced that Petrobras had discovered an offshore oil reserve called Carioca. Lima suggested that the reserve may contain 33 billion barrels of oil, an unconfirmed volume that did not affect world crude futures, already on the ascent in early 2008, but which sent Petrobras shares soaring in Sao Paulo and New York.

Petrobras admitted: “More conclusive data about the potential of the discovery will only be known after the conclusion of the other phases of the evaluation process, and the market will be informed at the opportune moment.” Referring to the Carioca discovery, Citigroup Inc. analyst Tim Evans commented: “You’re talking about a reserve the size of total U.S. reserves. It’s a big, big number. Nobody really has data on what’s out there in the middle of the ocean.”

Upon some reflection it appears that Brazilian officialdom was attempting to manipulate world oil prices through the Carioca announcement but failed. This should prompt the astute observer of international affaris to ask: Who is Lima? The head of the National Petroleum Agency is a cadre of the Communist Party of Brazil. Brazilian-based journalist John Fitzpatrick charts Lima’s career through the communist insurgency that sought to do away with Brazil’s military dictatorship and Lima’s mishandling news of the Carioca oil reserve. Fitzpatrick concludes: “This was a perfect example of the iniquity of the Brazilian political system, which allows people to assume positions of great authority for which they are not remotely qualified.”

The news was hailed by investors and share prices in Petrobras rose sharply. However, a comment by the head of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), Haroldo Lima, on April 14 suggesting that there were further deposits of oil which could be five times greater raised the stakes even higher and pushed up the share price of Petrobras and other associated companies not only in Brazil but all over the world.

You might think this would be good news for Brazil but it was not, since Lima not only jumped the gun but may have given inaccurate information and, at the same time, he completely mishandled the way major news involving publicly-traded companies should be communicated.

This was a perfect example of the iniquity of the Brazilian political system, which allows people to assume positions of great authority for which they are not remotely qualified. A glance at Lima’s biography on the ANP site shows that although he qualified as an electrical engineer, he has devoted most of his life to politics as a Communist.

The site gives a glowing description of him as someone who spent 10 years hiding from the military “organizing resistance to the regime.” He was captured when a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party was “brutally attacked by the repression” according to the site and three party members were shot dead and five arrested, including Lima who spent three years in prison.

This is all good stuff if you are nostalgic leftist but hardly the type of corporate CV one expects of someone who is in charge of one of the most important agencies in the country. Some technical qualifications, experience as an executive and a MBA from a decent business school would be more appropriate albeit less exciting.

Lima became head of the ANP simply because the Communist Party, which has miniscule popular support, is a member of the alliance which supports President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government. He is just one example of incompetent politicians who have been given positions in which they can spend budgets worth billions of reais not only in regulatory agencies but state-controlled companies like Petrobras itself, electrical energy utilities and others.

Meanwhile, in a last ditch attempt to salvage the US motorist, this week President George W. Bush promised to rescind the executive order banning offshore drilling along the US coasts, on the proviso that Congress lifts its separate ban first. While one would expect US petroleum companies to leap at the opportunity to drill in US territorial waters, potentially high domestic demand has not prevented them from shipping refined output overseas where prices are often government subsidized.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Moscow and Washington play brinkmanship: Separate Russian and US-Georgian war games underway in Caucasus

>– Poking the Soviet Bear: US Armed Forces Join “Ex”-Soviet Troops for War Game in Georgia
– Communists Protest Joint NATO-Ukraine Drill “Sea Breeze 2008”
– Russian FM Lavrov to Visit Beijing on July 21 to Further Sino-Soviet Strategic Partnership

– Italy’s “Ex”-Communist President to Confer with Putin and Medvedev in Moscow

In a move that is guaranteed to enflame Russian nationalism and which therefore appears to be in harmony with the Soviet strategy of portraying the USA as aggressor in Central/Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Iran, and Iraq, the US military is currently holding joint war games with former Soviet republics-turned-NATO aspirants Ukraine and Georgia. In view of the fact that the pro-communist, pro-world government Council on Foreign Relations has directed US foreign policy since the Second World War and presently liaises with the Moscow Leninists through the little-known Kissinger-Primakov Strategic Working Group, this troubling development should come as no surprise.

For more than 60 years the CFR clique and hostile foreign agents operating out of the United Nations Headquarters, both based in New York City, have been leading America to gradual submergence in a Moscow-Beijing Axis-dominated “Red World Order” through “peaceful” East-West convergence backed up by nuclear blackmail. Don’t expect presidential aspirant and alleged illegal alien Barack Obama to restore America’s sovereignty. The Kremlin media reports that Senator Obama is opposed to expelling Russia from the G8, a position taken by his putative opponent Senator John McCain. Obama is an alleged CFR cadre, while his wife Michelle and McCain are confirmed members.

Although such news is confined to the back pages of the MSM, Moscow and Washington are presently playing a game of brinkmanship in the Caucasus Mountains. In the North Caucasus 8,000 Russian troops have launched a military exercise called Caucasus Frontier 2008 in the internal republics of Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachayevo-Circassia.

Russia begins active stage of Caucasus 2008 military exercise
18:0115/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russia began the active stage of large-scale military exercises in several regions of the Southern Federal District, which includes the highly volatile North Caucasus republics, a senior military official said.

The exercise, dubbed Caucasus Frontier 2008, involves units of the North Caucasus Military District, mainly the 58th Army, the 4th Air Force Army, Interior Ministry troops, and border guards.

Lt. Col. Andrei Bobrun, an aide to the commander of the North Caucasus military district, said the exercise involves some 8,000 military personnel, about 700 combat vehicles and over 30 aircraft.

The main goal of the exercise, he said, is to practice interoperability between federal troops, interior ministry’s troops, border guards, and the Air Force in special operations against militants and the defense of Russia’s state borders.

The exercise will mostly take place on the territory of Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachayevo-Circassia.

According to statistics, 80% of terrorism-related crimes in Russia occur in the Southern Federal District, which includes the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Daghestan and Ingushetia.

Meanwhile, another large-scale military exercise began in the region on Tuesday as Georgia and the United States started Immediate Response 2008 near Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.

A total of 1,650 personnel, including troops from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, are taking part in the $8-million drills, planned by the U.S. Armed Forces European Command and financed by the U.S. Defense Department.

Relations between Russia and Georgia plunged to a new low recently against the backdrop of outbreaks of violence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, with the two countries trading accusations of provoking violence.

Source: Novosti

To the south of Russia’s war-torn Caucasus region, in the vicinity of the Georgian capital of Tblisi, 1,650 US, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Ukrainian troops are holding a war game called Immediate Response 2008 (color guard above). The Kremlin media reports that the latter was planned by the US Armed Forces European Command and financed by the US Defense Department.

U.S., Georgia start joint drills near Tbilisi
15:4815/ 07/ 2008

TBILISI, July 15 (RIA Novosti) – A joint Georgian-U.S. military exercise, Immediate Response 2008, has started near Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, and will continue throughout July, the Georgian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

A total of 1,650 personnel, including troops from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, are taking part in the $8 million exercise, planned by the U.S. Armed Forces European Command and financed by the U.S. Defense Department.

U.S. and Georgian forces started force protection training in preparation for the exercise last Monday.

Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe’s 18th Military Police Brigade and 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Georgian soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade continued to develop working relationships as they learned to conduct personnel and vehicle searches at an entrance control point.

“We are responsible for force protection,” said Army Capt. David Morishuili, a Georgian security officer. “We needed to learn how the U.S. Army conducts force protection operations so we can better work together in Iraq.”

The Georgian military currently has units conducting operations in Iraq along with U.S. and other coalition forces. The Georgian 4th Brigade is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in the near future.

Source: Novosti

To the west, in another “former” Soviet republic, the US Navy is participating in a joint NATO-Ukrainian military exercise called Sea Breeze 2008, which has aroused the ire of Ukraine’s Progressive Socialist Party, cadres of which turned out to protest the naval maneuvers. The communist PSP has picked up the anti-Western banner of the pro-Moscow Party of Regions, which is Ukraine’s largest opposition party and operates under the leadership of “ex”-CPSU member and former prime minister Viktor Yanukovich.

Ukrainians give NATO war games a cold reception
July 14, 2008, 9:04

A series of military exercises organised by NATO are getting under way along Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. But the so-called ‘sea breeze’ war games will be met by anti-NATO protesters, who have gathered in force in Odessa to oppose Kiev’s ever-closer ties with the US-led defence alliance.

The summer season is in full swing in the Black Sea resort of Odessa in southern Ukraine. Thousands of holidaymakers crowd the streets and beaches to enjoy the sunshine and the water.

But others have come for a different reason.

At the weekend, a group of around 30 people rallied in blazing heat opposite the local administration. They call themselves ‘Rus’ – a pro-Russian movement. They’re protesting against what they describe as an unwanted guest – NATO.

The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine went further, setting up camp near a military base – a venue for a joint NATO-Ukrainian military exercise called ‘The Sea Breeze’. Several hundred people have camped out in the area, to once again make NATO officials see that some Ukrainians regard the alliance as an enemy.

But despite these efforts, it looks like the exercises are going to go ahead anyway. Over a thousand naval, ground, Para troop and special force personnel from 15 countries are in the city for what is being regarded as one of the biggest events of its kind on the Black Sea coast.

Before 2006, the military rehearsals were something many had got used to, but two years ago, things went wrong. Thousands took to the streets of the Crimean city of Feodosia in mass anti-NATO rallies. The protest eventually led to the exercises being cancelled that year. The driving force behind the protests was the pro-Russian Party of the Regions – Ukraine’s most-popular party, which now sits in opposition in parliament.

This time, the party is restraining itself from mass acts of civil disobedience. And Vladimir Gennyk, leader of Odessa’s nationalists, which support the government’s intention to join the alliance, believes that’s enough of a reason for pro-NATO movements not to stage any rallies in response this time.

Meanwhile, the Progressive Socialist Party says it will continue picketing the base until the war games are over. And many observers agree that, despite only having some 200 protesters at the camp, their intentions show how serious the NATO issue is for Ukraine.

The Sea Breeze war games have been held for more than a decade, but it’s only in the last three years that they has developed a broader meaning. Several opinion polls suggest that more than half of Ukraine’s population would say no to joining NATO in a referendum. So what seems to be just a routine military training exercise is turning into another national disputes – a chance for political forces to reiterate their positions.

Source: Russia Today

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to Beijing on July 21 at which time he will discuss bilateral relations between the two communist superpowers during two days of talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jabao. The agenda will address the peaceful transfer from Russia to China of a string of islands on the Amur River, which borders the two countries. The peaceful negotiations between Moscow and Beijing that resulted in this agreement in 2004 demonstrate that the Soviet and Chinese communists have indeed formed “one clenched fist,” per KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn’s warnings in New Lies for Old (1984), and that the “Sino-Soviet split” of past decades was a strategic deception designed to confuse the West into believing that the world communist movement was disunited.

In a related story, Italy’s “ex”-communist President Giorgio Napolitano is presently visiting Moscow where he will hold discussions with “President” Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the subjects of closer bilateral relations, European Union-Russian integration, Kosovar independence, and Middle East peace. Pictured here: Napolitano arrives in Moscow today.

On June 27 European and Soviet leaders gathered in the western Siberian oil city of Khanty-Mansiysk to hammer out a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. In advance of their guests’ arrival, the Soviets, in true potemkin fashion, concealed the run-down sections of Khanty-Mansiysk behind a new large fence. Although faux rightist Silvio Berlusconi took over the prime ministership of Italy in May from alleged KGB asset Romano Prodi, the Italian businessman enjoys a close friendship with Russia’s KGB-communist dictator Putin. As such, Berlusconi’s government is not only aiding and abetting the EU-Russian merger, but also obediently facilitating the construction of Gazprom’s South Stream natural gas pipeline, which will extend from Russia, through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and Austria to Italy. In short, Italy remains firmly in the Communist Bloc.

>End Times File: EU head Sarkozy launches revived Roman Empire of Bible prophecy at Paris summit; Assad, Abbas, Olmert attend, Qaddafi no show

>Syrian President Assad Unwittingly Suggests Possible Timeframe for Antichrist’s Covenant with Israel: Peace to Be Achieved within Six to 24 Months

Yesterday, in response to a plea from European/French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the leaders of the 27 European Union states and those of the countries encircling the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea converged in Paris to establish the Mediterranean Union. In attendance were Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is eager to swap land for peace, and Israel’s foes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Arab League-backed pro-Hezbollah Lebanese President Michel Suleiman. Libyan strongman and staunch Soviet ally Muammar al-Qaddafi, who poured contempt on Sarkozy’s pet project several weeks ago, was the only “no show.” Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI dispatched senior representatives. “The goal of the summit is to learn how to love each other in the Mediterranean,” Sarkozy intoned, “instead of continuing to hate and wage war. We will build peace in the Mediterranean together.”

In addition to bringing Israel and Syria’s leaders to the same peace conference for the first time since 1948, Syria and Lebanon will exchange ambassadors for the first time since both countries became independence. News agency AFP reports that “The union aims to build on the EU’s 13-year-old Barcelona process set up for the Mediterranean countries, which was plagued by disputes between Israel and its Arab neighbours.” Under the watchful eye of Sarkozy’s European partners, the French president and Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak will act as the first co-presidents of the new political-economic supernational organization. Tunis is being touted as the location of the MU secretariat. The joint declaration of the MU summit participants can be found here, while the full text of Sarkozy’s inaugural speech is linked here.

Pictured above: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Mubarak, Sarkozy, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon answer reporters’ questions at the Grand Palais in Paris. Pictured below: MU summit host and self-avowed guarantor of Israel’s security Sarkozy embraces putative mutual enemies Abbas and Olmert.

Mediterranean union launched with Mideast peace hopes
July 13, 2008

PARIS (AFP) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy and more than 40 leaders on Sunday launched a new Union for the Mediterranean, hoping to inject momentum in Middle East peace efforts.

The new forum brings together the 27 countries of the European Union with states from north Africa, the Balkans and Arab nations with Israel to foster cooperation in one of the world’s most volatile regions.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad scored a comeback on the international stage after years of isolation, taking his seat alongside Arab leaders at the same table with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Sarkozy said Arab states had made a “gesture of peace” by attending the inaugural summit of the new union and proclaimed that a “great initiative has been born.”

Capping the summit held at the grandiose glass-domed Grand Palais near the Seine River, leaders issued a founding declaration of the 43-member union, home to 756 million people from the shores of Greenland to the deserts of Jordan.

The heads of state and government agreed on a batch of modest projects such as cleaning up pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, improving shipping routes and developing solar energy.

But the Middle East peace process loomed large over the gathering, with a flurry of meetings on the sidelines underscoring the need for progress.

“We are certain that a new page will open in this cooperation that will lead us toward more peace,” said the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who co-chaired the summit with Sarkozy.

With a corruption scandal at home threatening to bring him down, Olmert met with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. “We have never been as close to an accord as we are today,” he said.

The Israeli prime minister also met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who then met Assad, the latest in a string of indirect talks since May — but according to an Israeli diplomatic source the first at a high level.

After meeting with Assad, Erdogan said he had high hopes that face-to-face peace negotiations between Syria and Israel would happen.

Assad however has poured cold water on a quick resumption of direct talks, saying this would probably not happen before next year, after the election of a new US president.

Israel and Syria have technically remained at war since the 1948 creation of the Jewish state.

On the sidelines of the summit, France stepped up its Middle East diplomacy, with Sarkozy hosting talks with all the major players including a landmark meeting between Assad and Lebanon’s new president Michel Suleiman on Saturday.

Later that same day, Syria and Lebanon announced they would establish diplomatic relations, opening embassies in each country’s capitals for the first time since independence.

Through his energetic lobbying, Sarkozy persuaded almost all of the leaders to attend, although the Elysee bowed to objections and dropped plans for an official group photograph.

And although Assad and Abbas stepped out of the hall when Olmert spoke at the summit, diplomats denied it was a boycott of the Israeli prime minister.

“No one caused any kind of incident,” Sarkozy said at the news conference. “Mr Assad was very present throughout the whole afternoon.”

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was the only Arab head of state to boycott the meeting, while Jordan’s King Abdullah II and King Mohammed VI of Morocco sent senior representatives.

The French president, who championed the idea of the new grouping during his election campaign last year, said leaders had to “learn to love each other in the Mediterranean, instead of continuing to hate and wage war.”

The union aims to build on the EU’s 13-year-old Barcelona process set up for the Mediterranean countries, which was plagued by disputes between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

France and Egypt are to set up a joint presidency of the new union and summits will be held every two years.

A secretariat will also be created to supervise the projects, but its composition and location are to be decided in November, Sarkozy said.

Yesterday, during the MU summit, Syrian President Assad refused to acknowledge Israel’s head of government, although there were no undiplomatic confrontations between the two leaders. In the photograph linked above Assad, covering his face, lurks in the background. Pictured here: Assad again refuses to acknowledge Israeli PM Olmert at July 14 Bastille Day celebration in Paris.

In his opening speech at the summit, Sarkozy referred to the historic and geographic link between his “Club Med” and the ancient Roman Empire:

It is in the Mediterranean that the first fraternal civilisation was born, built on the idea of diversity. It is for all the peoples of the Mediterranean to again impart this lesson to all humankind by reviving this diversity that in the past enabled all the peoples and all the faiths of Cordoba, Tangiers and Constantine, Tunis, Alexandria, Beirut and so many other cities to live in pace, with mutual respect and in the knowledge that beneath their differences lay the same sense of humanity, the same love for life and the same need for justice that united them all.

Britain’s Guardian observes the same link between the old and new Roman Empires: “Sarkozy’s big idea is to use imperial Rome’s centre of the world as a unifying factor linking 44 countries that are home to 800 million people.” The Economist is also quick to notice the similarities: “Under imperial Rome, the roads in cold, wet Britannia were no straighter than those in sweltering north Africa. The same sestertius could buy a lampful of oil. Across the southern Mediterranean and northern Europe alike, Latin was the lingua franca—1,500 years before anyone had coined the term. Under the Treaty of Rome, however, the European Union has behaved as if the Med were a frontier, rather than an organising principle.” The article, ironically but ignorant of Bible prophecy, concludes: “The creation of the Union for the Mediterranean is hardly the rebirth of imperial Rome, but it may just be the start of something exciting.” In view of the seven years of horrific tribulation that will befall mankind at the end of this age (cf. Revelation 16), this secular journal’s characterization of the MU as “exciting” is an understatement.

Until recently many Bible prophecy experts identified the European Union as the revived Roman Empire that will dominate the world prior to the return of Jesus Christ. However, it is now apparent that the EU and the 10-state military pact known as the Western European Union (WEU) that undergirds the EU are only the nucleus of that foretold political entity, which as of July 13, 2008 now stands in full view of an uncomprehending world. More particularly, it would appear that the WEU is the 10-nation confederacy depicted by the 10 toes of the statue in Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzer’s dream, as well as the 10 horns on the beast that appears in the prophet Daniel’s dream and again in the apostle John’s vision. If not, then we would expect some sort of regionalization of the Mediterranean Union as a whole into 10 parts.

For several months, too, we have been suggesting that the MU’s chief architect Sarkozy, who is an object of obsession in France and admiration in Israel, is the top candidate for Jews’ coming false messiah, otherwise known as the Antichrist. As we hold to a pre-tribulation rapture of the church, we can only state that we strongly suspect, rather than positively assert, that France’s president will shortly become the primary enemy of God among men before the Son of God returns to earth.

“We have never been as close to a possible [peace] agreement as today,” PM Olmert informed reporters during the MU summit. Unwittingly alluding to the seven-year covenant that Antichrist will establish with Israel (Psalm 55:20-21, Isaiah 28:18, Daniel 9:27), President Assad declared: “Peace between Syria and Israel can be achieved in a matter of months. I estimate six months to two years is a likely time-frame in which the two countries could sign an agreement.” In this interview with France-2 TV, Assad also denounced US President George W. Bush for hindering Middle East peace and announced that he looked forward to a more positive role for the USA in that process after a new president (meaning, probably, Barack Obama) is elected in November.

The Bible has something to say about the timing between such confident predictions of peace and the Second Coming of Christ: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Navy resumes presence around Norway’s Svalbard, CSTO states plan war games through 2011

>Kremlin Media Admits Russia Strengthening Military Alliances with Other CSTO States as Counterweight to NATO Expansion and US National Missile Defense Plans in Central Europe

To this day Russia, by treaty, maintains a settlement called Barentsburg on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard (pictured here). Most of the 600 Russian and Ukrainian nationals who live at Barentsburg are employed by the state-owned Arcticugol Trust, which has operated a coal mine at the site since 1932. Russia also has a consulate at Barentsburg. The largest island in the group is Spitsbergen. At one time the entire archipelago was also known as Spitsbergen. State-run Novosti, below, reports that Moscow does not recognize Oslo’s assertion of a 200-mile economic zone around the islands. For that reason, the Russian Navy will permanently deploy a missile cruiser and anti-submarine warfare ship to that portion of the Arctic Ocean as the Kremlin continues to re-project its power–which began with last year’s dramatic, flag-planting episode on the Acrtic seabed–throughout the polar region. In May Norwegian authorities ordered the Russian fishery patrol vessel Mikula out of the port of Barentsburg on the grounds that its crew had no jurisdiction in Svalbard.

Russian Navy resumes military presence near Spitsbergen
15:2514/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Navy has resumed a military presence around the Arctic Ocean archipelago of Spitsbergen, which belongs to Norway, a navy statement said on Monday.

“Russia’s fleet has resumed a warship presence in the Arctic, including in the area of Spitsbergen,” the statement said.

Russia does not recognize Norway’s exclusive right to the 200-mile economic zone near Spitsbergen.

The statement also said that “the large ASW ship, Severomorsk, has already entered the area to fulfill its tasks.”

It will be joined, starting from July 17, by the Marshal Ustinov, a Russian Slava-class missile cruiser.

According to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an exclusive economic zone extends for 200 nautical miles (370 km) beyond the baselines of a country’s territorial sea.

A coastal nation has control of all economic resources within its exclusive economic zone, including fishing, mining and oil exploration.

In December 2007 we quoted the Norwegian media as saying: “Top Russian officials have themselves said that Russia has ‘strategic interests on Svalbard that will be taken care of,’ and political observers have no doubts they will.”

Meanwhile, the states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which is the military pact undergirding the Commonwealth of Independent States, itself a placeholder for the soon-to-be-restored Soviet Union, have planned a series of joint military exercises through 2011. Beginning in late summer and early fall, about 4,000 troops from Russia, Armenia, and Tajikistan will participate in the four-stage Rubezh-2008 war game, to be held on the territories of Russia and Armenia. The last Rubezh drill occurred in Kazakhstan in 2006 (pictured above), during which occasion the CSTO testing the ability of its Collective Rapid Deployment Forces to counter external aggression against one of the member states. With respect to the current exercise in this series, Novosti reports:

Russia and Kazakhstan to hold joint war games in 2009-2011
14:30 14/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Kazakhstan will hold joint military exercises in 2009-2011, the two countries’ defense ministers announced in Moscow on Monday.

Anatoly Serdyukov and Danial Akhmetov ordered their respective offices to draft the details of the joint drills, including the timeframe, locations and forces to be involved. The military exercises will be held on the territories of both states.

The two ministers said that joint tactical drills to be held this autumn as part of Center-2008 staff exercises in the Chelyabinsk Region in the Urals, “will contribute to the further development of a united outlook and approach to the planning of joint actions to maintain the national security of the two countries.”

Serdyukov and Akhmetov, who is currently on a two-day trip to Moscow, also praised the military skills displayed by around 2,000 Russian and Kazakh paratroopers who took part in a joint counterinsurgency tactical exercise last Friday.

A Kazakh Defense Ministry spokesman said earlier that the 2008 Kazakh-Russian military cooperation program included a series of joint operational and combat training activities.

Russia, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), has been strengthening military ties with its allies amid growing tensions over NATO expansion and U.S. missile shield plans for Central Europe. An agreement was recently signed by Washington and Prague on deploying a U.S. radar in the Czech Republic, a move that did little to assuage Russian concerns for its national security.

The CSTO is a post-Soviet security alliance, which also comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

About 4,000 troops from Armenia, Russia, and Tajikistan will take part in the four-stage Rubezh-2008 military exercises in Armenia and Russia this summer/fall.

Like Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon are both “ex”-communists, a fact that demonstrates the deceptive nature of the so-called collapse of Soviet communism in 1991.

We are anxiously scanning a variety of news sources for any word of a third Sino-Soviet joint war game, possibly to be held next summer. Thus far, Moscow and Beijing have conducted two combined military exercises, the misnamed Peace Mission 2005 and Peace Mission 2007. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has stridently denied that it is a military bloc or that it is anti-USA in orientation, but in past reports we have demonstrated otherwise. The Kremlin media, above, openly admits that “Russia, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), has been strengthening military ties with its allies amid growing tensions over NATO expansion and U.S. missile shield plans for Central Europe.”

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: Russia ORDERS USA to drop National Missile Defense plans in Central Europe following Iranian missile launches

>The war of words between Moscow and Washington escalated today in the wake of Iran’s Shahab-3 missile test launches which, the New York Times apparently intends to report tomorrow, were apparently concocted as so much bluster to confuse Western governments. In recent days we have suggested that the Islamo-Nazi regime in Tehran is probably trying to spike the price of crude oil futures and damage the US economy with such gestures, but there could be yet another motive at work, carried out in secret coordination with Tehran’s puppetmasters in Moscow.

The British Telegraph reports today that “Russia has ordered the United States to drop it’s missile shield proposals.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is quoted as saying that: “This week’s Iranian missile tests have provided further evidence of an American plot to neuter Moscow’s nuclear deterrent. This proves what we’ve said before, that the idea of deploying the US missile shield in Europe is not needed to monitor and respond to [Iranian] missiles of this range. We are certain that talk of a missile threat emanating from Iran is an invented motive for deploying a missile shield in Europe.” In short, the Shahab-3 missile launches, whether real or merely disinformation, advance the Soviet contention that US and NATO designs in Central Europe are threats to Russian national security.

Should Moscow’s duplicity come as a surprise in view of the fact that neo-Soviet Russia and its strategic partner Red China today vetoed United Nations sanctions against the genocidal communist regime of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe? The twenty-first-century Communist Bloc should now be evident to the most benighted citizen of the shopping mall regimes. Harare clearly enjoys Moscow and Beijing’s protection.

Pictured above: On June 22, 2008 Russian and Belarusian Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Alexander Lukashenko attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Brest fortress on the Belarus-Polish border, to commemorate the Day of Memory and Mourning for victims of the “Great Patriotic War” (Second World War). Dmitry is a Komsomol graduate while “ex”-CPSU cadre Alex yearns for the day when the Soviet Union will be restored in all of its dysfunctional glory.

Status of Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

The bellicose, anti-USA rhetoric that never really ceased to emanate from the Kremlin ever since the so-called collapse of communism is matched by a commitment to upgrade Russia’s military capabilities and prepare its troops and existing equipment for war. On April 3 the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces blog reported “At the beginning of 2008 the Russian strategic forces included 682 strategic delivery platforms, which can carry up to 3,100 nuclear warheads.” The same site then proceeds to break down the delivery mechanisms into four categories: Strategic Rocket Forces including silo-based and road-mobile platforms; strategic missile submarines; strategic bomber fleet; and limited, but expanding, space-based early warning system.

The Strategic Rocket Forces have 430 operational missile systems that include missiles that can carry 1,605 warheads. These include 75 R-36MUTTH and R-36M2 (SS-18) missiles, 100 UR-100NUTTH (SS-19) missiles, 201 road-mobile Topol (SS-25) systems, 48 silo-based and 6 road-mobile Topol-M (SS-27) systems.

The Russian strategic fleet includes 14 strategic missile submarines, whose missiles can carry 611 nuclear warheads. Bases of the Northern Fleet host six 667BDRM (Delta IV) operational submarines, which carry 92 R-29RM (SS-N-23) launchers and two 667BDR (Delta III) submarines with 27 R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles. The only remaining Pacific Fleet base hosts four 667BDR (Delta III) submarines, which carry 54 R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles.

The Russian strategic aviation consists of 79 bombers that can carry up to 884 long-range cruise missiles. The bombers are 15 [actually 16] Tu-160 (Blackjack) and 64 Tu-95MS (Bear H). The bombers can carry various modifications of the Kh-55 (AS-15) cruise missile and gravity bombs.

The space-based tier of the early warning system includes three satellites that appear operational — two on highly elliptical orbits and one on geostationary orbit. The constellation cannot maintain 24-hour coverage of the U.S. territory, but may provide some coverage of SLBM launches from North Atlantic.

The Kremlin Implements Plans to Upgrade Air Force, Navy, Army

The Russian Navy, according to Itar-Tass, has begun the final stage of a maneuver in the Sea of Japan that consists of preventing a simulated enemy from landing on Russia’s chilly Pacific Coast. The heaviest vessels include the missile carrier Varyag and the destroyer Bystry. We have already documented the Kremlin’s ambitious plan to expand its navy into a modern force with at least six carrier strike groups. The Russian Navy presently has one operational aircraft carrier.

Final stage of exercise of Pacific Fleet begins in Sea of Japan
11.07.2008, 09.09

VLADIVOSTOK, July 11 (Itar-Tass) — Crews of ships of the Pacific Fleet (PF) have begun the final stage of the exercise in the Sea of Japan.

According to the information and public relations service of the fleet, the naval striking group is to repel an air attack on Friday. Commander of the fleet Vice-Admiral Konstantin Sidenko will direct this stage from board the missile carrier Varyag.

On Thursday, the ships participating in the exercise carried out firings on sea and coast targets. The powerful 130-mm artillery of the missile carrier Varyag and the destroyer Bystry fulfilled group firing on a sea target at a distance of 10 kilometres and hit the target by the first gun salvos.

The exercise of the Pacific Fleet began in the Sea of Japan on July 8. According to the exercise plan, striking groups consisting of the missile carrier Varyag and the destroyer Bystry, as well as crews of a squadron of torpedo boats are to detect and destroy the main forces of the simulated enemy and prevent a supposed landing of troops.

Group firing of Varyag and Bystry on air targets with the use of anti-aircraft missile complexes will be the culmination of the exercise.

Meanwhile, reports Kommersant Daily, the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, which is presently stationed at the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, may be transferred to the Syrian port of Tartus after 2017. The Russian military is presently refurbishing its Soviet-era naval logistics facility in Tartus. The fascist-communist regime in Syria is a staunch Soviet ally. Incidentally, the revitalized presence of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea strongly points to the mid-tribulation fulfillment of the Bible’s prophecies regarding the destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17), possibly by an Israeli nuclear warhead, and the ensuing Russian-Arab invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38 and 39).

Ukraine Would Send the Fleet to Syria
June 27, 2008

Konstantin Rzhepishevsky, head the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry office is Odessa Region, stated on June 26 that the Russian Black Sea Fleet may be transferred from Sevastopol to Syria after 2017, the UNIAN information service reports. Rzhepishevsky said that the Russian side has already spoken in favor of that idea and added that the Black Sea “will soon become a good zone of peace and economic cooperation.”

Under international agreement, the Black Sea Fleet is supposed to leave Ukraine by 2017. Official Kiev has repeatedly stated that it will not extend the agreement on the Russian division’s location in Sevastopol.

Russian politicians have also repeatedly said that the fleet will stay in Ukraine forever. The Russian Foreign Ministry declines to discuss the issue, saying that it is “not timely.” The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, commenting recently on a rent increase for the fleet at Sevastopol (it currently pays about $98 million per year), said that the withdrawal of the fleet in 2017 is nonnegotiable. Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Vysotsky stated recently that, after 2017, the fleet may be transferred to the Mediterranean Sea area.

Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, was quoted by RBC Daily as saying that the port of Tartus in Syria may be the new home for the fleet. There is a Russian naval logistics facility in Tartus now.

The Russian Army is expecting to take delivery of a new generation of main battle tanks, which have yet to receive a designation, after 2010, reports state-run Novosti. “The T-90 MBT will be the backbone of the armored units until 2025. T-72’s and T-80’s will not be modernized and will be eventually replaced by new-generation tanks, which will start entering service after 2010,” Sergei Mayev, head of the Federal Service for Defense Contracts (Rosoboronzakaz) explained to reporters at a recent conference. Pictured here: Designed in the early 1990s the 7-90 was rated the seventh-best MBT by Military Ordnance magazine in 1998

Russia’s new main battle tank to enter service ‘after 2010’
16:5010/ 07/ 2008

NIZHNY TAGIL (Urals), July 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s armed forces will start receiving new-generation tanks superior to the famed T-90 main battle tank (MBT) “after 2010,” a government official said on Thursday.

At present, there are over 25,000 MBTs in service with the Russian Ground Forces. However, relatively modern T-80 and T-90 models account for only 30 percent of the current fleet of tanks and even these tanks require constant upgrades to incorporate modern weaponry, protection and electronics systems.

“The T-90 MBT will be the backbone of the armored units until 2025. T-72’s and T-80’s will not be modernized and will be eventually replaced by new-generation tanks, which will start entering service after 2010,” Sergei Mayev, head of the Federal Service for Defense Contracts (Rosoboronzakaz) told a news conference.

The new-generation MBT, which still does not have a designation, will feature better firepower, maneuverability, electronics and armor protection than the T-90 MBT.

Its speed will increase from 30-50 kph to 50-65 kph (19-31 mph to 31-40 mph).

According to some sources, the new tank may be equipped with a 152-mm smoothbore gun capable of firing guided missiles with a range of 6,000-7,000 meters.

In comparison, the T-90 MBT has a 125-mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, which can fire AT-11 Sniper anti-tank guided missiles with a range of 4,000 meters.

The Russian Air Force, for its part, expect to take delivery of a fifth-generation fighter, the Sukhoi PAK FA or T-50, in 2013. The T-50 will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft manufacturing plant in Russia’s Far East. According to the Kremlin media the T-50 has been designed to be comparable to both the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, and will replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker fighters. Pictured here: In 2007 Russian aircraft designer NPO Saturn released this image of the PAK FA, still in development.

Russian Air Force may receive fifth-generation fighter in 2013
16:1807/ 07/ 2008

ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), July 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is expecting a new fifth-generation fighter to enter service in 2013, the Air Force commander said on Monday.

“We will begin test flights [of the new fighter] in 2009, and hope to receive the aircraft in 2013,” Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

The new fighter aircraft, tentatively designated as the Sukhoi PAK FA or T-50, will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft manufacturing plant in Russia’s Far East.

The T-50 fighter, equipped with two powerful engines with thrust vectoring, will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets.

Some experts believe the PAK FA fighter has been designed to be comparable to both the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

It will eventually replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker fighters in the Russian Air Force and will be exported to other countries.

As previously reported, Russia and Ukraine have agreed to resume production of the world’s largest commercial transport aircraft, the Ruslan An-124-100, during the third quarter of 2008. In April Kommersant Daily boasted that the “Ruslan An-124 is a unique plane that has no rivals on the modern market in combination of the weight-lifting, flying range and cost.”

Russia, Ukraine to Construct Ruslan An-124-100 Anew
Apr. 28, 2008

Russia and Ukraine have agreed to resume in the third quarter the construction of world biggest commercial transport aircraft, Ruslan An-124-100, Russia’s PM Viktor Zubkov said Monday.

“The definite decision was made to resume production of joint aircraft, Ruslan An-124, in the third quarter, for example,” Zubkov said by results of the sitting of the Economic Cooperation Committee of Russia’s-Ukrainian Interstate Commission.

Ruslan An-124 is a unique plane that has no rivals on the modern market in combination of the weight-lifting, flying range and cost. It is the only plane in the world capable of lifting the cargo of up to 150 tons. Designed by Antonov Research and Construction Bureau in 1982, Ruslan An-124-100 and An-124-100M-150, had been constructed in Kiev and Ulyanovsk till 1995. With the takeoff weight of roughly 400 tons, Ruslan may carry the cargo of up to 150 tons to the distance of over 3,000 kilometers.

Meanwhile, have you ever wondered why NATO fighter jets intercept more Tu-95 Bear bombers than Tu-160 Blackjack bombers? Well, first of all, the Russian Air Force has only 16 Blackjacks in operation as opposed to 64 Bears, although four more “White Swans” are slated to enter service by the end of 2008. Between 2025 and 2030 the Kremlin expects to produce 10 more Tu-160s (Russian-language link). Second, the Blackjack hogs more fuel than the Bear. Last month Russian Air Force Deputy Commander Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn informed reporters that about 580,000 rubles are needed to keep one Tu-160 in the air for one hour on a non-combat mission. That sum is equivalent to US$25,000 per hour. No wonder the Kremlin is digging deep into its oil, natural gas, and arms export revenues to fund its remilitarization and research and development programs, which languished during the 1990s. Pictured above: A Tu-160 and fighter jet escorts fly over Red Square during the Victory Day Parade, on May 9, 2008.

Lastly, the Soviet strategists have ordered Defense Minister Anatoli Serdyukov, who is the son-in-law of Gazprom’s new chairman, “ex”-CPSU cadre Viktor Zubkov, to transform the Russian military into a lean, mean fighting machine. This new policy has met resistance from old-guard commanders such as the Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky, who resigned last month, only to be transferred to the Security Council, which is chaired by “President” Dmitry Medvedev, and two other senior generals, who were relieved of their duties on July 7. The International Herald Tribune reports: “An analyst said that the move was part of a purge of commanders who oppose a plan to overhaul the vast, nuclear-armed military. Defense Minister Anatoli Serdyukov has been ordered to give Russia a modern military that would match its ambitions to be a major power in the world, but he has encountered fierce resistance from his own commanders.”

>USSR2 File: Gazprom takes over the world with "ex"-CPSU cadre PM Zubkov at helm, solidifies relations with Serbia, Libya; oil reaches new high of $147

>Crafty Soviet Strategists Determined to Sink Capitalism with Sky-High Oil Prices, Create Red World Order

In a move no doubt designed to once again jack up last week’s sagging price of crude futures, which shot up $10 today and yesterday to reach an all-time high of over US$147 per barrel, this week’s Iranian missile launches are part of a larger strategy being implemented by the Moscow Leninists and their oil-producing terrorist allies in Tehran, Caracas, and elsewhere. “We had a nice correction earlier this week, found support in the $133-to-$135 level, held there for a short while and then took off,” commented Tom Bentz, a broker at BNP Paribas in New York.

However, the Communist Bloc is determined to sink the Western economies and end the “empire of the dollar,” as we have documented, and so don’t expect oil to level off at $150 or even $200. The Kremlin is predicting $250 per barrel, while its minions in OPEC are warning of $400 and even “limitless” price increases, especially if Israel decides to whack the yelping mad dogs in Tehran. A person with the most rudimentary understanding of economics will see that such prices will effectively force world capitalism to a grinding halt.

The recent G8 summit in Japan, of which neo-Soviet Russia is a full member, provides the Moscow Leninists with a useful venue to manipulate Western leaders. The independent Moscow Times offers the following post-summit analysis with respect to the global fuel crisis: “Leaders, for example, discussed how to increase oil production in Russia where production has been declining. But little was said about the fact that foreign investors are largely restricted from domestic deposits and that the government has been aggressive in seizing assets of Russian and foreign oil companies — TNK-BP representing the latest government-backed attempt to take over a strategic asset.”

Before capitalism collapses, however, state-run Gazprom–the world’s largest supplier of natural gas and, as of May 2008, the third largest company in the world in terms of market capitalization–is cementing relations with Moscow’s long-time strategic partners in Belgrade and Tripoli. Until assuming the reins of the Russian presidency in May, Komsomol graduate Dmitry Medvedev was Gazprom chairman. His replacement is former prime minister Viktor Zubkov, a good “Party man” with a steller career in the not-so-dead Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In summary, a Soviet communist sits at the head of one of the world’s largest energy companies. “Although Zubkov’s appointment has long been expected,” reports state-owned Kommersant Daily, “there were reports from inside the company that the former prime minister preferred to limit himself to politics and would not accept the Gazprom position. Zubkov promised not to change the development strategy for the company.” And what, pray tell, is Gazprom’s development strategy? Two days before Zubkov’s appointment Alexei Miller, Gazprom’s vice chairman and CEO, explained:

Gazprom expects to be the world’s largest company in 7-10 years, CEO of the Russian natural gas monopoly Alexey Miller told journalists on Friday. He had stated earlier, on June 10, that the company’s capitalization would reach $1 trillion in 7-8 years, which would make it the world’s largest joint stock company. At present, Gazprom is the world’s third largest company by capitalization. It has total hydrocarbon reserves of almost 30 trillion cu. m. The capitalization of Gazprom is 46 time greater than its level in 2000.

We have already documented Gazprom’s aggressive plans to take over the world’s energy portals and channels include buying out the state-run Serbian Petroleum Industry (NIS) and constructing the Serbian section of the South Stream natural gas pipeline with which the Kremlin will hold Europe hostage. Kommersant Daily reports today: “Under Russia’s-Serbian intergovernmental agreement on the oil and gas cooperation that the parties inked in January of 2008, Gazprom Neft is to pay €400 million for 51 percent in NIS and invest at least €500 million to upgrade the company. The agreement provides for constructing in Serbia a portion of the South Stream gas pipeline and the underground gas storage facilities.”

On July 9, reports Bloomberg, Gazprom CEO Miller visited Libya where he met with strongman Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi and offered to buy all oil and gas available for export from the staunch Soviet ally.

Libya exported about 1.53 million barrels of oil a day in 2006, almost enough to supply Italy. Gazprom considers the country its priority partner in North Africa and said it registered a unit called Gazprom Libya in Tripoli. Less than a month ago the company opened its first African office in neighboring Algeria. Russia, the world’s largest producer of natural gas, is seeking to lead closer coordination among nations that produce the fuel.

“Libya’s traditional customers shouldn’t worry,” Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corp. assured the world. “Gazprom offered to buy whatever gas or oil that Libya has available for selling, or that has no buyer. It is not offering to take all of Libya’s production.”

After subverting the Western economies, the Communist Bloc intends to step forward as mankind’s savior. State-run Voice of Russia reports that Russia’s KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin believes “Russia has everything it needs to use its booming economy and a bullish stock market for winning the enviable position of a global financial and economic hub. Prime Minister Putin told this to the chief stocks regulator Vladimir Milovidov at a meeting with him in Moscow on Wednesday. He also said Russia’s geography makes for a good timebelt stopgap between East Asia and Europe.” We have already reported that “President” Dmitry Medvedev envisions the ruble as the world’s new reserve currency. The overweening ambitions of the Soviet strategists know no bounds.

Meanwhile, south of the Rio Grande Latin America’s Red Axis, institutionalized in the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas and the new EU-style Union of South American Nations, is formulating a soft landing in the midst of the global fuel crisis for its member states at the latest Petrocaribe summit in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Whatever decisions the leftist-communist regimes of the region reach, be assured that Americans and Canadians will not benefit, politically or at the pump. Founded in 2005 Petrocaribe facilitates the transfer of subsidized oil from Red Venezuela to 12 of the 15 members of CARICOM, as well as Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

>Middle East File: Israeli Air Force using Iraqi airspace to prep for Iran nuke plant strikes, Tehran test fires more long-range missiles

>Political Tremors in Middle East Once Again Boost Crude Oil Futures to Over US$140 Per Barrel after Last Week’s Sag to $135

By connecting the geopolitical dots it is becoming more and more evident that the Israeli government, with surreptitious logistical, intelligence, and diplomatic support from the USA, is preparing to “take out” Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear power plants with a military strike, fearing that these programs are being used to develop atomic weapons that will be employed against the Jewish state. Pictured above: On July 9 Iranian TV station Al-Alam showed the test-launch of a Shahab-3 missile, whose range is sufficient to reach Israel.

According to John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations who supports intervention against the Islamo-Nazi regime in Tehran, Israel could attack Iran after the November presidential election, which Moscow-backed Democratic candidate (and possible illegal alien) Barack Obama is poised to win, but before the president-elect actually enters the Oval Office on January 20, 2009. Excerpts from Bolton’s June 24 interview with the Daily Telegraph in Britain follow:

It’s clear that the [Bush] administration has essentially given up that possibility [of a US-led military operation]. I don’t think it’s serious any more. If you had asked me a year ago I would have said I thought it was a real possibility. I just don’t think it’s in the cards.

Israel, however, still had a determination to prevent a nuclear Iran. The optimal window for strikes would be between the November 4 election and the inauguration on January 20, 2009.

The Israelis have one eye on the calendar because of the pace at which the Iranians are proceeding both to develop their nuclear weapons capability and to do things like increase their defences by buying new Russian anti-aircraft systems and further harden the nuclear installations .

They’re also obviously looking at the American election calendar. My judgement is they would not want to do anything before our election because there’s no telling what impact it could have on the election.

But waiting for either Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, or his Republican opponent John McCain to be installed in the White House could preclude military action happening for the next four years or at least delay it.

An Obama victory would rule out military action by the Israelis because they would fear the consequences given the approach Obama has taken to foreign policy.

With McCain they might still be looking at a delay. Given that time is on Iran’s side, I think the argument for military action is sooner rather than later absent some other development.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force continues large-scale exercises throughout the Middle East. Between May 28 to June 12 the IAF completed a major maneuver over the Mediterranean Sea and Greece. Today the Pakistan Daily, taking into account its possible bias against Israel, reveals that for the past month the USA has permitted Israeli military jets to fly over Iraq and land at and take off from air bases in Nasiriya, southeast of Baghdad, and Haditha, a city in the western Iraq province of Al Anbar. The story below, probably rightly, concludes: “It is believed that these activities are parts of a joint Israeli-US training, preparation and coordination to launch an air raid against Iran’s nuclear plants.”

Israeli jets using Iraq’s airspace
Thursday, 10 July 2008 12:15 http://www.daily.pk

The US has allowed Israeli jets to use US airbases and fly over Iraqi air space for a likely attack against Iran, Iraqi media say. It is more than a month that some Israeli planes belonging to Israeli air force use the US military bases in Iraq to land and take off, Iraqi Nahrainnet news network said Wednesday, quoting informed sources close to Iraq’s Defense Ministry.

The activities and traffic of warplanes- especially at nights- has lately increased in the US airbases in Nasiriya southeast of Baghdad and Haditha a city in the western Iraq province of Al Anbar, the Iraqi residents and sources said.

They said the US fighters, cargo planes, helicopters and unmanned planes have intensified their flights in the last three weeks.

The US military officials have imposed severe security measures around the bases, they said.

They said some aircraft suspected to be Israeli warplanes coming from Jordan, have landed in the US controlled al-Assad airbase near Haditha.

It is believed that these activities are parts of a joint Israeli-US training, preparation and coordination to launch an air raid against Iran’s nuclear plants.

Israel has conducted a military drill under the supervision of top US military commanders over the Mediterranean Sea from May 28 to June 12, using more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters, along with helicopters and refueling tanks which many consider as a possible rehearsal for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Fearing a possible Israeli/US strike against its infrastructure and nuclear program, the archterrorists in Tehran have test-fired a second round of long-range Shahab-3 missiles in the Strait of Hormuz, a geopolitical chokepoint that the Iranians have threatened to squeeze if attacked. Today in an interview published by the International Herald Tribune OPEC secretary general, former Libyan deputy prime minister, and shameless shill for the Iranian regime Abdalla Salem El-Badri waved the sword of ballistic crude oil prices over the head of the West: “We really cannot replace Iran’s production – it’s not feasible to replace it. The prices would go unlimited. I can’t give you a number.” In other words, hands off Iran. This is not the first time that OPEC has rushed to the defense of Iran’s nuclear program. Pictured above: El-Badri meets Iranian Tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in April.

Responding to news of the Iranian missile launches, the commodities markets reacted by once again boosting crude oil futures to over US$140 per barrel toward the end of the trading day on July 10, after last week’s sag that saw prices briefly drop to US$135.

Although the US government, according to Bolton, appears to have quietly backed away from a military engagement with Iran, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, while visiting Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Tblisi, hinted today that Washington will stand with Israel in the event of a Middle East war: “We will defend our interests and defend our allies. We take very, very strongly our obligations to defend our allies and no one should be confused of that.” Yesterday White House spokesman Gordon D. Johndroe cautioned: “Iran’s leaders should refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world. The Iranians should stop the development of ballistic missiles which could be used as a delivery vehicle for a potential nuclear weapon immediately.”

None of this sits well with the Leninist masterminds in Moscow, who view the mad mallahs in Tehran as strategic partners in their offensive against the West. While visiting French ally President Nicolas Sarkozy in late May, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied that the Iranian government was developing nuclear weapons: “I don’t believe so. Nothing indicates it. The Iranians are a proud people. They want to enjoy their independence and exercise their legitimate right to civil nuclear power. I am serious. On a legal level, Iran has infringed nothing at the moment. They have the same right to enrichment [of uranium]. The paperwork says so. Iran is accused of not displaying all its programmes to the IAEA. This point remains to be resolved….”

America’s involvement in the Middle East mess is complicated by the US Energy Department’s subsidization of two Russian nuclear institutes that are assembling important parts of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor, whose construction the US is officially committed to terminating. In February the New York Times revealed that the DOE began subsidizing the institutes under the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention in 1994. According to Iranian officialdom, the reactor will begin producing power this year. Congressman Bart Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, denounced the subsidies as a “schizophrenic foreign policy.” “We should not be doing business with institutes that help promote Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” he declared. Stupak is a Democrat, but he is absolutely right.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Four Bear bombers fly mission over Arctic, Atlantic; Russian army begins Caucasus exercise as Georgian tension mounts

>According to the Kremlin media, the Russian Air Force continued its weekly overseas bomber flights today with the latest consisting of four Tu-95MS Bear bombers on patrol over the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. State-run Itar-Tass reports that the bombers practiced mid-air refueling with two Il-78 aerial tankers. Since August 2007, when then President (now Prime Minister) Vladimir Putin formally announced the resumption of long-range bomber patrols, already in effect since 2006, Russia has been in an open state of war readiness. Russian military spokesentities typically insist that their aircraft fly according to accepted rules of international aviation and never violate territorial airspace. However, a casual perusal of our Russian Strategic Aviation Updates section, located in the right column of this blog, will prove otherwise.

Pictured above: On April 23, 2008 the Norwegian Air Force intercepted and photographed this Russian military aircraft formation–consisting of two Bear bombers, two aerial tankers, and four fighter jets, although only three aircraft are pictured–off the north coast of Norway.

Russian strategic bombers continue Arctic, Atlantic patrols
13:4709/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – Four Russian strategic bombers are carrying out a routine patrol over the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, a Russian Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Four Tu-95MS [Bear] strategic bombers based at the Ukrainka airfield in the Amur Region [in the Far East] are conducting a routine 14-hour patrol flight over the Arctic and Atlantic oceans,” Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said, adding that the bombers are accompanied by NATO fighters.

“During the flights the crews develop their flying skills in northern latitudes, over featureless territory. The patrol crews include young pilots,” he said.

Drik reiterated that all Russian strategic patrols are performed in strict accordance with international rules on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by former president Vladimir Putin. Russian bombers have since carried out over 80 strategic patrol flights and have often been escorted by NATO planes.

Air Force commander, Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said in April that Russia would drastically increase the number of strategic patrol flights over the world’s oceans to 20-30 a month in the near future.

The international focus on the Arctic is rising due to potential large deposits of natural resources, including oil and natural gas, which are rapidly decreasing on more available parts of the Earth.

The Kremlin’s stated reason for de-mothballing their bombers after a 15-year hiatus was due in large part to perceived aggression on the part of the USA and its NATO allies, many of which since the “fall” of communism are actually “former” Soviet Bloc states. The Leninist masterminds in the Kremlin have been using contentious issues like NATO “expansionism” in Ukraine and Georgia, proposed US NMD installations in Central Europe, theoretically in effect in the Czech Republic since yesterday, Kosovar independence, and the war in Iraq to rattle their sabres against Washington. The story below candidly adds another rationale for Russian belligerence: the Kremlin’s claim over the Arctic seabed’s natural resources: “The international focus on the Arctic is rising due to potential large deposits of natural resources, including oil and natural gas, which are rapidly decreasing on more available parts of the Earth.”

Meanwhile, the war of words between the crypto-communist regimes in Moscow and Tblisi has escalated to the point were Russia commenced “large-scale” military exercises in the Southern Federal District, which includes the “highly volatile” internal republics of the North Caucasus region, namely, Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachayevo-Circassia. The Kremlin media reports, below, that military operation Caucasus Frontier 2008 involves units of the 58th Army, 4th Air Force Army, Interior Ministry, and border guards. These war games do not constitute a message to the Georgian leadership because everyone in the Not-So-Former Soviet Union is on the Red Team. Instead, per the warnings of KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, the manufactured conflict along Russia’s southern border is probably designed to confuse Western analysts into believing that Russia is too weak and fractured to launch an offensive against the West.

Russia begins military exercises in volatile N. Caucasus region
11:1705/ 07/ 2008

VLADIKAVKAZ, July 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia began Saturday large-scale military exercises in several regions of the Southern Federal District, which includes highly volatile North Caucasus republics, a senior military official said.

The exercise, dubbed Caucasus Frontier 2008, will involve units of the North Caucasus Military District, mainly the 58th Army, the 4th Air Force Army, Interior Ministry troops, and border guards.

“The active phase of the multi-stage exercise will be held through the second week of July,” said Maj. Gen. Vladimir Maystrenko, deputy chief of staff of the North Caucasus Military District.

He said the main goal of the exercise is to practice interoperability between federal troops, interior ministry’s troops, border guards, and the Air Force in special operations against militants and the defense of Russia’s state borders.

The exercise will mostly take place on the territory of Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachayevo-Circassia.

According to statistics, 80% of terrorism-related crimes in Russia occur in the Southern Federal District, which includes North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Daghestan and Ingushetia.

During the first five months of 2008, Ingushetia alone saw a sharp increase in assaults on law enforcement and military personnel. In 53 attacks a total of 12 police officers and four servicemen were killed and 46 law enforcement officers and 11 soldiers were injured.

On Wednesday, two policemen were killed, and five others wounded in the town of Malgobek in Ingushetia after their vehicles came under fire by unidentified gunmen.

The region has also been recently shaken by an intensified conflict between Georgia and its breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: Kremlin responds to US-Czech missile defense agreement: Military option forthcoming; West heaves disinterested sigh

>Today the US and Czech governments formulated an agreement in which Washington will deploy a radar station in the “former” Soviet Bloc state, ostensibly to detect incoming Iranian missiles but in reality, according to the disengenuously jaded accusations of the Moscow Leninists, to monitor Russian ICBMs as they arc their way into NATO airspace. This is not the first time that the neo-Soviet leadership has uttered such threats of war.

In past months we tracked this issue, which the Soviets, er, Russians, have manipulated to portray the USA and its allies as the aggressors and themselves as aggrieved victim, thereby establishing another pretext to launch a preemptive strike against the West. “I am deeply concerned over increasingly visible signs of the militarization of politics and thinking in the modern world… even though the military route again and again leads to a dead-end,” lamented former Soviet Tyrant Mikhail Gorbachev in the Russian government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The Kremlin has a point. The Islamo-terrorist regime in Tehran certainly poses a regional threat to the Middle East, especially Israel, to wit its current round of big stick-waving war games. However, the pro-communist Council on Foreign Relations “experts” who guide US foreign policy in tandem with Moscow appear to have overstated their case with respect to Iran’s ability to inflict harm on the Continental USA. Think East-West convergence.

Pictured above: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is accompanied by Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg in Prague, on July 8, 2008.

Russia Warns of Military Response If U.S.-Czech Missile Defense Agreement Approved
Tuesday , July 08, 2008

MOSCOW — Russia will be forced to make a military response if the U.S.-Czech missile defense agreement is ratified, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The statement came hours after U.S. and Czech officials reached an initial agreement on deploying elements of a missile defense system in the Eastern European country.

Russia says the system would severely undermine European security balances by weakening Russia’s missile capacity.

If the agreement is ratified, “we will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods,” the Foreign Ministry statement said. It did not give specifics of what the response would entail.

In February, then-President Vladimir Putin said Russia could aim missiles toward prospective missile defense sites and deploy missiles in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland, if the missile defense plan went forward.

The U.S. has pushed the plan as necessary to prevent missile attacks by rogue nations, pointing to Iran as a particular concern. But Russia dismisses the likelihood of such threats.

Source: FoxNews

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek is the current leader of the putatively liberal conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS) but in the past belonged to the communist Czechoslovak Socialist Union of Youth. The ODS evolved from the false anti-communist opposition party, Civic Forum, which in turn evolved from the StB/KGB/George Soros-funded, communist-infiltrated Charter 77 Foundation. Czech President Vaclav Klaus, moreover, is a self-declared anti-anti-communist, an alleged KGB/FSB agent of Russian ancestry, and a friend of Alexander Rebyonok, a Czech-based GRU illegal.

Meanwhile, the potemkin, crypto-communist regime in Poland intends to pursue negotiations with the USA with respect to the latter deploying missile interceptors on its territory. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is yet another Eastern European faux rightist whose political career was jumpstarted in the Solidarity-spawned Liberal Democratic Congress and communist-infiltrated Freedom Union before moving on to Civic Platform. For his part Polish President Lech Kaczyński cut his political teeth in the Citizens’ Parliamentary Club/Solidarity Citizens’ Committee, itself a front for the more well-known trade union. Kaczyński was also advisor to alleged secret police informer and past Polish president Lech Wałęsa.

In June 2008 The Independent quoted Polish researcher Slawomir Cenckiewicz as saying: “There is positive proof that Lech Walesa was registered with the secret police under that code name between 1970 and 1976. We provide clear evidence in our book including registration cards, entries and notes from secret police files and reports from the so-called informant Bolek.” In his first book New Lies for Old (1984) KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn revealed that Solidarity was a creation of the ruling communist Polish United Workers’ Party and thus part of the wider anti-Western deception strategy masterminded in Moscow and implemented throughout the Soviet Bloc.

>End Times Files: Religious Zionist rabbi changes position, confidently predicts Temple will be rebuilt in 2008, Jews to ascend Temple Mount to worship

>Does the Seven-Year Covenant that Antichrist Will Confirm with Israel and “Many” Already Exist?

Although the following article, which pertains to the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem, was published by Haaretz last year, Rabbi Zalman Melamed’s comments support our contention that Bible prophecy is literally unfolding before our eyes. Reversing their previous stance, some religious Zionist leaders are now insisting that Jews be permitted to ascend the Temple Mount for the purpose of worship and rebuilding their Temple. In 2007 West Bank Rabbi Melamed confidently predicted, “Next year we will all go up freely to the Temple, which will be built, with the ashes of the red heifer, without disagreement and without questions.”

Pictured above: The Temple Institute in Jerusalem displays a model of the Third Temple.

Rabbi warns against going to Temple Mount
By Nadav Shragai
Thu., May 17, 2007 Iyyar 29, 5767

Former chief rabbi Avraham Shapira, head of Mercaz Harav yeshiva, said yesterday that Jews are prohibited from going to the Temple Mount. Shapira’s statement came after a pamphlet issued by religious-Zionist rabbis calling on people to go to the Temple Mount, and doing so themselves earlier this week in what has been called a historical change in their stand.

Shapira (along with Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu) is considered a leading figure in the religious-Zionist movement. He made the statements at the traditional rally in honor of Jerusalem Day at the yeshiva. Rabbi Dov Lior, the head of the West Bank rabbinic committee and the chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba, who was among those who visited the Temple Mount with the group this week, was seated next to him.

Rabbi Zalman Melamed, the head of the Beit El Yeshiva and a leader among West Bank rabbis, said, “Next year we will all go up freely to the Temple, which will be built, with the ashes of the red heifer, without disagreement and without questions.”

Until a few years ago, most rabbis prohibited Jews from going to the Temple Mount because no one knows for sure the exact location of the Holy of Holies, and the concern that today’s Jews, considered “impure” by Jewish law, would enter prohibited zones. However, as a result of the strengthening Palestinian presence on the Mount, religious-Zionist rabbis have been pressured in recent years to permit visits to some parts of it. The committee of West Bank rabbis allowed ascent to the Mount a few years ago.

Enter European President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to promote Middle East peace by combining the European Union, the Islamic states of the Mediterranean Basin, and Israel into a revived Roman Empire called the Mediterranean Union (MU), to be formed on July 13. “Nobody, even in France,” observes Guardian journalist Agnes Poirier, “quite understands what Sarkozy is driving at with his pet project.” Here at Once Upon a Time in the West we have offered some insight into the European president’s ulterior motives and personal dynamism.

Incidentally, the Soviet strategic deception will unravel when Russia and its Islamo-Marxist proxies in the Middle East confront EU/NATO over Israel’s role in the nascent MU. The communist dream of global domination is in fact doomed to failure.

On July 9, 2008 Haaretz again reported that “The ultra-Orthodox rabbinical consensus on banning the entry of Jews to the Temple Mount is showing cracks. This comes in the wake of a decision by religious Zionist rabbis to lift the ban and the increase of religious Zionist visitors to the site. Rabbi Moshe Tendler, son-in-law of the ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, visited the Temple Mount last Thursday with Temple Institute officials for the first time.”

However, most of the world, including many Christians, are oblivious to the Biblical implications of orthodox Jewish activity at the Temple Mount. Popular Christian leaders like “America’s Pastor” Rick Warren downplay the importance of Bible prophecy even as Warren plays the role of pied piper by serving on the inter-religious advisory council of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. As a result many professing Christians are marching into the one world church of the Antichrist and his False Prophet.

According to Daniel 9:27 the Antichrist will “confirm the covenant with many for one week” which, translated out of Bible prophecy terminology, means that he will confirm a seven-year agreement, possibly already in existence, that will secure a false peace between Israel and its enemies. This “week of years” represents Daniel’s prophetic “seventieth week” and, thus, the last seven years of history before Jesus Christ establishes His thousand-year kingdom on earth.

The Antichrist’s covenant, which he breaks half way through the seventieth week, is also mentioned in Psalm 55:20-21: “He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” In Isaiah 28:18 the Spirit of God refers to Antichrist’s covenant as one with “death and hell”: “And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.”

By contrast, the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-37) that God established with Israel and Judah and, by extension through personal faith in Jesus Christ, the church, is founded on the blood of the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).

It is of note that the Oslo Accords, which were signed on September 13, 1993 and expired on the same day in 2000, were a failed seven-year agreement that awaits re-confirmation to establish a Palestinian state adjacent to Israel. To this day the EU leadership, including Sarkozy, is determined to affect a two-state solution to solve the Middle East crisis.

It is also of note that European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), a vehicle by which the EU intends to absorb Israel and the Arab countries of the Mediterranean Basin, is a seven-year program that came into effect on January 1, 2007. Under Article 7, Paragraph 3 the document states: “Such strategy papers shall be drawn up taking into account the principles and modalities laid down in Articles 4 and 5 and shall, in principle, cover a period of up to seven years from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.” Europe’s temporary French presidency, reports the Armenian media, is also committed to developing the ENPI as a component of Sarkozy’s ambitious MU project.

Theologian J. Dwight Pentecost writes in Things to Come concerning the “seventieth week”: “It is true that the events of the seventieth week will cast an adumbration [shadow] before the rapture, but the object of the believer’s attention is always directed to Christ, never to these portents” (page 203). Current events definitely confirm that we are in that shadow but the precise time in which Jesus will translate the church to heaven is known only to God: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).

>Red Terror File: Britain’s health-conscious spymaster comatose, found at home, "blood everywhere"; UK tabloids finger Kremlin, Al Qaeda

>On June 30 Alex Allan, 57-year-old chairman of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee, which coordinates the intelligence-gathering operations of MI5, MI6, and Government Communications Headquarters, was found in his home comatose, covered in blood. Although doctors suspect the otherwise health-conscious spymaster, who is a cycling and windsurfing enthusiast, succumbed to a sudden bout of pneumonia, British tabloids, citing “security experts” and drawing comparisons to the assassination of FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko, are insisting that Allan (pictured here) is the victim of a KGB hit. State-run Novosti, probably with some smirking, observes: “British media quoted the country’s security service on Friday as saying that Russia has flooded the country with secret agents in recent years, making the Kremlin a major menace to national security. The reports come days before Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s first meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Group of Eight summit in Japan, set for July 7-9.”

“The police and the security service,” reports the Belfast Telegraph, “have ruled out any possibility that Alex Allan, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), was poisoned.” Naturally, officialdom is loathe to alarm the shopping mall regime or further damage already strained Anglo-Russian relations. Allan was appointed to his current post by Prime Minister Brown last year. KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky who, like Litvinenko, resides in the United Kingdom, claimed to be the target of an assassination attempt in November 2007, one year after his friend Litvinenko died.

British tabloids link top spy’s coma with Russia
15:4104/ 07/ 2008

MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) – A mysterious illness that has left Britain’s top intelligence official in a coma has sparked speculation in the country’s tabloids that he could be the victim of a Russian assassination attempt.

British police announced on Friday that Alex Allan, 56, who heads the Joint Intelligence Committee, was in a coma in hospital after falling seriously ill on Monday.

Although police have said there are no indications that Allan was poisoned, British tabloids have been quick to link the incident to the fatal poisoning of Russian security service defector Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006, the cause of a diplomatic row between Russia and the U.K.

The Sun cited “security experts” as saying “Alex Allan may have been an assassination target of the Russians or al-Qaeda.”

The paper, along with the Daily Mail, cited “top security expert” Chris Dobson as saying: “The nature of his sudden illness, if it is an assassination attempt, points towards the FSB, successors of Russia’s KGB. They are the masters of assassination by poison.”

The Daily Mail pointed out that fears of an assassination attempt “coincide with a warning from intelligence sources today that Russia is now the third biggest threat to national security after al-Qaeda and Iranian nuclear proliferation.”

However, broadsheet The Daily Telegraph cited a government source as saying assassination theories have little basis.

Allan is “so high-profile that he would be a very unlikely target for attack. He is a civil servant and he doesn’t have enemies. There is no reason for him to be targeted by anyone,” the source told the paper.

British media quoted the country’s security service on Friday as saying that Russia has flooded the country with secret agents in recent years, making the Kremlin a major menace to national security. The reports come days before Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s first meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Group of Eight summit in Japan, set for July 7-9.

According to GRU defector Viktor Suvorov, writing in the 1980s, “Between the ‘grey’ and the ‘red’ terror there may be an intermediate period — the ‘pink’ terror, when active military operations have not yet begun and there is still peace, but when some of the best spetsnaz units have already gone into action. The situation is complicated by the fact that, on the one hand, Soviet fighting units are already in battle, but that, on the other hand, they are not yet operating in the name of the Soviet Union. This is an exceptionally risky moment for the Soviet high command.” We will let the reader draw his own conclusions about the origin of Allan’s illness in the face of renewed overseas Russian bomber missions.

>USSR2 File: Soviet strategists manipulate tensions between Georgia and Abkhazia-South Ossetia, Zyuganov meets Kokoity in North Ossetia

>On July 4 Georgian forces shelled towns, including the capital Tskhinvali, in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which is occupied by Russian “peacekeeping” troops. The unrest and warfare that has plagued the Caucasian republics since the late 1980s bears all of the hallmarks of a Kremlin-orchestrated strategic deception designed primarily for Western media consumption, the purpose of which is to present Russia as a “weak” nation battling NATO-backed “ex”-Soviet republics. Georgian officials and South Ossetian separatists accuse the other of instigating the latest exchange of weapons’ fire. Eduard Kokoity has been the unrecognized president of South Ossetia since 2001. “We call on the Georgian side to see reason and pull out their forces,” Kokoity demanded. “Otherwise, we will take a decision to introduce heavy machinery and offensive weapons to terminate all the units illegally deployed in the conflict zone.”

Pictured above, from left to right: Presidents of the self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Transnistria–Kokoity, Sergei Bagapsh, and Igor Smirnov–in September 2006. All three politicians are pro-Russian “ex”-communists. Smirnov is causing trouble for the openly communist “pro”-Western regime in Moldova, while the other two are causing trouble for the covertly communist “pro”-Western regime in Georgia.

Georgian forces shell towns in South Ossetia
Reuters
Published: July 4, 2008

MOSCOW: Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia on Friday mobilised reservists and threatened to use heavy weapons against Georgian forces after two people were killed in heavy exchanges of fire overnight.

Neither Tbilisi nor the separatists admitted violating a ceasefire, blaming the hostilities on one another.

Quoting the rebel region’s officials, Russia’s Vesti-24 channel said Georgia had started bombarding the separatist capital Tskhinvali with mortar shells at about midnight on Thursday. “Then intensive gunfire followed,” it reported.

The channel ran video footage of wounded people being operated on in a Tskhinvali hospital.

“This is a well-planned provocation staged by the Georgian side,” separatist leader Eduard Kokoity said in a statement broadcast by Vesti-24. “It shows Georgia does not intend to resolve peacefully the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

South Ossetia said it had mobilised its reservists after the overnight hostilities, Interfax news agency quoted the region’s spokeswoman Irina Gagloyeva as saying.

Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions broke away from central rule during wars against Tbilisi during the 1990s. Russia, which has peacekeepers in both unrecognised republics, has provided moral and financial support for the rebels.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who wants his ex-Soviet Caucasus state to join NATO and the European Union, sees the re-integration of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a top priority.

“We call on the Georgian side to see reason and pull out their forces,” Kokoity said. “Otherwise, we will take a decision to introduce heavy machinery and offensive weapons to terminate all the units illegally deployed in the conflict zone.”

Tbilisi said it did not believe Kokoity’s threats would materialise.

“This is absolutely inadmissible. If this happens, this will be a violation of all existing (ceasefire) agreements,” said Shota Utiashvili, as official in the Georgian Interior Ministry.

Mamuka Kurashvili, commander of Georgia’s peacekeeping battalion in the conflict zone, told Reuters the Georgian side had been forced to return fire after the separatists launched heavy bombardment on several local Georgian villages.

He said he had no information about any fatalities on the Georgian side.

De facto South Ossetian President Kokoity, according to one biography, is a graduate of the Soviet Komsomol and appears to be little more than a Kremlin stooge, fanning the flames of ethnic unrest in the “post”-Soviet space:

Born on October 31st 1964, Eduard Kokoity is firstly a wrestling champion among the Russian national team. Between 1989 and 1992 he is the First Secretary of the Tskhinvali Komsomol (Communist Youth Organisation). Afterwards, he moves to Moscow to make business. There he becomes the leader of the South-Ossetian representation between 1997 and 1999. He moves back to Tskhinsvali in 2001.

Moreover, the Russian Minister of Defense, Serguei Ivanov, also hailed the numerous announcements made by Kokoity in August 2004, notably when he mentionned that “most of the inhabitants of South Ossetia are Russian citizens and so the Russian government has to look after them.”

Abkhazia is another breakaway region of Georgia and is also occupied by Russian “peacekeepers.” Kokoity’s Abkhazian counterpart is Sergei Bagapsh, who is not only a graduate of the Soviet Komsomol but an “ex”-cadre of the still-very-much-alive Communist Party of the Soviet Union. One biography reports:

In 1972, he does his military service at the head of a sovkhoze, and then becomes instructor at the regional Komsomol (Communist Youth Organisation) of Abkhazia. In 1978, he is in charge of the Information at the central committee VLKSM in Georgia, and then becomes First Secretary of the regional committee VLKSM in Abkhazia in 1980. As a new step for his political carreer, he becomes two years later the First Secretary of the Communist Party for the region of Ochamchire. After having climbed the ladder progressively, he is appointed Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Republic of Abkhazia from April 1997 to June 1999.

In mid-June the two “ex”-communist leaders met in the Abkhazian capital of Sokhumi where, according to the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee, “Eduard Kokoity and Sergey Bagapsh discussed the settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhaz conflicts against the background of increased military threat from Georgia.” On June 15 the same news source reported that Kokoity also met with Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov in North Ossetia, which is located in Russia. The North Ossetian President Teimuraz Mamsurov also participated in the meeting. We believe and have documented that Zyuganov and his colleague Oleg Shenin, mastermind of the potemkin anti-Gorbachevist coup of 1991, are the powers behind the throne in Moscow. Conferences such as those described below provide support for that contention.

Bagapsh, Kokoity Discuss Cooperation

South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity held talks with Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh, the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee and Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported on June 15.

Apsnipress said the meeting was held in Sokhumi.

“Eduard Kokoity and Sergey Bagapsh discussed the settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhaz conflicts against the background of increased military threat from Georgia,” the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee reported.

The two leaders also discussed bilateral agreements and further cooperation in economic, social and military spheres, according to this report.

On June 15 the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee also reported that Kokoity met with head of Russia’s Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, in Russia’s North Ossetian Republic. The President North Ossetian Republic, Teimuraz Mamsurov, also participated in the meeting.

Although supported by the Kremlin, Bagapsh maintains links to Tblisi, as his biography, cited above, confirms: “He is also alleged to have close relationships with Georgian politicians. As a proof of it, he met with Nino Burjanadze, upon his visit to Moscow, on November 2nd 2004 and they discussed about the situation in Abkhazia.” Nino Burjanadze is the “pro”-NATO speaker of the Georgian parliament but, like Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, cut her political teeth in Eduard Shevardnadze’s “ex”-communist Citizen’s Union of Georgia party. Thus, we observe a complicated web of collusion and deception among the allegedly feuding political elites of the Not-So-Former Soviet Union, nearly all of whom are reds, “former” reds, and KGB and GRU types.

>End Times File: European President Sarkozy at Hokkaido G8 Summit, advocates formation of "experts group" to solve global food crisis

>Today Nicolas Sarkozy–President of Europe, President of France, Co-Prince of Andorra, past president of the United Nations Security Council, self-proclaimed guarantor of Israel’s security, and closet supporter of Chabad-Lubavitch Judaism, adherents of which are commited to rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem–attended the G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan where he advocated the formation of yet another group of “experts,” this time to ameliorate the global food crisis. High on the G8 agenda, the International Herald Tribune reports below, was the world food shortage, along with climate change, soaring oil prices, and possible sanctions against Zimbabwe, where veteran communist dictator Robert Mugage stole yet another election.

The Group of Eight currently embraces France, the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia. In his endless quest for power, Sarkozy urged the G-8 to absorb China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico. On July 13 Sarkozy will host Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and the representatives of numerous other Euro-Mediterranean states at his kick-off summit for the Mediterranean Union, which is none other than the revived Roman Empire of Bible prophecy.

Pictured above: Eurosarko: On June 30 the French decked the Eiffel Tower with the blue and gold of the European Union to celebrate the beginning of Sarkozy’s presidency of Europe. Last year German Chancellor Angela Merkel informed the French president: “In Paris, Nicolas, you are the Sun King. But Europe is like Germany, a coalition of diverging interests. You need a lot of patience and skill.”

Writing in the early 20th century and knowing only of the League of Nations, British preacher/theologian A. W. Pink observed in his systematic exposition of God’s chief enemy among men in the last days: “Thus will the Antichrist resurrect the old Roman Empire at a time of universal confusion and tumult.” In the ancient Greek and Assyrian languages, respectively, Nicolas means “Conqueror of the People,” while Sarkozy means “Prince of Darkness,” a stigma that Sarkozy’s domestic detractors have actually thrown at the French president. UK-based Bible prophecy expert Bob Mitchell, one of few Bible teachers who is tracking Sarkozy’s unique career, translates the French leader’s surname as “Prince of (My) Tribulation.” If Sarkozy is the false king of Israel to appear before the return of Jesus Christ then your resident blogger will be long gone before the French president’s true identity is revealed to the world.

Sarkozy: Food crisis requires handling by experts, similar to climate change panel
The Associated Press
Published: July 6, 2008

RUSUTSU, Japan: French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he has received international support for his idea of creating an experts group to tackle the global food crisis, similar to the Noble Prize-winning panel on climate change.

“In the 21st century, we must be able to feed the planet,” Sarkozy said in an interview published in Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper Monday, as the Group of Eight summit of major economic powers was opening on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Early last month, Sarkozy proposed creating a panel of top experts on food issues, similar to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to diagnose problems and help world leaders make the best possible decisions. Sarkozy told the newspaper that the world needs the panel “to improve our way of approaching and understanding food problems.”

“This idea seems to have been received favorably by our G-8 partners, and I am delighted,” Sarkozy told the newspaper. A transcript of his remarks was also provided by his office.

The president’s office has said it expects the G-8 to endorse much of his thinking on the subject during the Monday-Wednesday summit.

Food prices have risen worldwide in recent months because of high oil prices, growing demand, extreme weather, higher biofuel production and market speculation. The crisis has triggered protests in parts of Africa and Asia, while raising fears of widespread malnutrition and economic instability.

The food crisis was high on the agenda, along with climate change, soaring oil prices and possible steps against Zimbabwe, at the G-8 summit, which brings together France, the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

Sarkozy has often urged the G-8 to expand to take in growing powers China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, saying it is unwise to keep them on the sidelines. Sarkozy told Yomiuri that, “at the least,” those countries should be brought in for a full day of discussions at the annual G-8 summits. In Japan, the countries have been invited for a half-day of talks.

With oil prices up more than 50 percent so far this year, Sarkozy said oil producers should boost production. He also urged the G-8 to encourage market transparency by asking both producer and consumer nations to release information about how much oil they have in reserves.

>Red Terror File: Blast injures 50 at Minsk Independence Day concert, Lukashenko present, warned of attack in interview published day before

>The “Belarusian National Liberation Army” Strikes Again . . . with a Little Help from Lukashenko’s KGB

Earlier today an explosive device detonated on the perimeter of an Independence Day concert in Minsk, attended by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The country’s dictatorial leader was not injured, but 50 concert-goers were. According to the International Herald Tribune the bomb, consisting of nuts, bolts, and screws, left an eight-inch-deep crater. “In 2005, a home-made explosive device wounded more than 40 people in the northern city of Vitebsk,” Reuters reports. “A little known, anti- Lukashenko group, The Belarussian National Liberation Army later claimed responsibility but no one was convicted.” Somewhat surprisingly, Lukashenko spokesentity Pavel Legkiy denied that the bombing was an assassination attempt against the president: “This was not an attempted assassination on the president. That is my personal opinion, not as a specialist, but as a person who was at the scene … Of course there can be a number of explanations and the truth will be established in the course of the investigation.”

Pictured above: Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) officers investigate scene of July 4 blast in Minsk.

Earth Times has one of the best summations of the incident, pointing out that the previous day, in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Lukashenko predicted that a street bombing would disrupt the campaigns preceding the October 12 parliamentary election. Comrade Alex linked his political opponents to the USA, with the following accusation: “They have always said it openly: They only give money when something happens. Therefore demonstrations or even better riots or explosions.” Anti-Lukashenko critic Anatoly Lebedko, who was quoted by Kremlin-run Novosti, fears that the Belarus’ neo-Soviet regime will identify the country’s beleagured opposition as the bombing perpetrators. In addition to regime critics, the Belarusian KGB has targetted for repression evangelical Christian groups, ethnic Polish associations, and Western non-governmental organizations, such as the Washington-based National Democratic Institute. “There are circles of people close to the state, who could well be interested in increasing tensions before the vote,” intimated Svetlana Kalinka, chief editor of the opposition Narodnaya Volia newspaper, quoted below.

Bloody attack ahead in Belarus vote – accusations fly – Feature
Posted : Fri, 04 Jul 2008 13:18:03 GMT
Author : DPA

Minsk – It should have been a pleasant Independence Day celebration in Belarus, but the state-organised music event ended in blood and horror. An explosive device detonated on the edge of a public concert attended by thousands in a central square of Minsk, the Belarusian capital, during the early hours of Friday morning.

The explosive device containing screws, nuts and bolts injured more than 50 concert-goers, three seriously.

Aleksander Lukashenko, the former Soviet republic’s authoritarian president, was present at the concert but some distance from the blast in a VIP reviewing stand, and not injured.

Presidential body-guards conducted the former collective farm head from the scene of the bombing, by any standard an incident of unprecedented violence in the tightly-controlled country.

The show went on, and emergency medics carried away the injured in stretchers as Belarusian and Russian pop singers continued their performance, rock and roll drowned out ambulance sirens, and KGB agents worked through the crowd video-taping members of the audience.

Lukashenko the following morning vowed he would take “personal control” of the government investigation into the apparent terror attack.

Just as quickly, leaders of the country’s embattled opposition were predicting police crackdown aiming less to find the bombers than to punish the president’s critics, and to guarantee Lukashenko’s continued control of the legislature in parliament elections three months away.

Belarusian independent news web sites, one of the last places independent information still can be had in Belarus, were drawing attention Friday to Lukashenko’s almost-spooky prescience in a Thursday Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper interview, in which he predicted a street bombing in the run-up to the parliamentary vote.

“There are circles of people close to the state, who could well be interested in increasing tensions before the vote,” said Svetlana Kalinka, chief editor of the opposition Narodnaya Volia newspaper.

Lukshenko in the Komsomolska Pravda article linked opposition to his regime, and seemingly even future bombings in Belarus, directly to Washington, saying “They (the US) have always said it openly: They only give money (to the Belarusian opposition) when something happens. Therefore (there are in Belarus) demonstrations or even better riots or explosions.”

Belarusian government spokesmen on Friday initially suggested a single attacker acting alone was the most likely perpetrator of the attack.

But only hours after the explosion, reports of a second bomb either found or – even – accidentally detonated by police only hours were reported in Russian and Ukrainian news agencies, after which government officials backed off from the single attacker theory, admitting to media “we haven’t ruled anything out.”

Anatoly Lebedko, an opposition leader, told the Russian RIA- Novosti news agency he feared the state would, regardless of the perpetrator, make its enemies responsible for the bombing.

Friday’s conflicting government explanations of what went wrong along with vows to punish the guilty, opposition claims the state would pin public death and injury on Lukashenko’s enemies no matter who actually was at fault, and dozens of injuries to the general public with rock music in the background is not new.

During a May 31 1999 rock concert in Minsk a mass panic and stampede in the concert exit, a tunnel, left 52 dead, more than 100 injured, and the Belarusian government and opposition focusing primarily on who would be named guilty.

Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since taking control of the country in a 1994 constitutional coup.

Mass anti-government demonstrations following his 2006 re-election to office were broken up by police, and the protest leader sentenced to more than five years in prison.

An admirer of Soviet-style strong-arm rule, Lukashenko in recent months has cracked down on opposition media, requiring all news agencies to register with the government or shut down.

Other repression targets include evangelical Christian groups, ethnic Polish associations, and NGOs with links to Western governments.

Lukashenko’s critics nonetheless point to a possible weakening of his control over the country, and potential problems at the September 28 upcoming polls, because of rising public discontent due to increasing prices for fuel, food, and household goods.

Pictured here: Medics treat injured concert-goers at Minsk Independence Day event.

Notwithstanding the confusion and recriminations generated by today’s bombing in Minsk, Belarusian opposition parties, including the Belarusian Social Democratic Party-Assembly, whose leader Alexander Kozulin has been in jail since 2006, intend to contest the October parliamentary election. In the Kremlin-run Interfax report below the anti-Lukashenko Party of Communists of Belarus (PKB) is to be distinguished from the Communist Party of Belarus, which supports the president and is allied with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The world communist movement considers the PKB to be a capitalist-funded front for “Western subversion” in Belarus.

Most Belarusian opposition leaders to run in parliamentary elections

MINSK. June 24 (Interfax) – Most Belarusian opposition politicians plan to run personally or indirectly in the parliamentary elections set by presidential decree for September 28.

Sergei Kalyakin, the leader of the Party of Communists of Belarus, suggested that, if Minsk’s pledge that the elections will be free and democratic proves to be true, Belarus will only benefit. “I so far have serious doubts that the elections will meet OSCE standards. But I would really like to be mistaken in this particular case,” Kalyakin told Interfax.

Belarusian Social-Democratic Gramada organization leader Stanislav Shushkevich told Interfax that about 50 people representing the organization would run in the elections in various parts of Belarus. Moreover, Shushkevich said he would not rule out running personally in the elections.

Igor Rynkevich, a deputy chairman of the Belarusian Social- Democratic Party Gramada, whose leader Alexander Kozulin is in jail, said the party plans to nominate its candidates in the elections. “Two people will run in Minsk – they are Alexander Kozulin’s daughter Olga and me,” Rynkevich told Interfax.

United Civil Party leader Anatoly Lebedko also told Interfax that party members, including him, “will conduct an election campaign.”

“However, the party reserves the right to withdraw its candidates if opposition members are not included in elections commissions and barred from taking part in the vote count,” he said.

Alexander Logvinets, an aide to Alexander Milinkevich, the chairman of the unregistered non-governmental organization Movement For Freedom, said his movement would not nominate candidates for the elections as that would be against the law, but he added that individual supporters of the movement could well run.

Milinkevich will take active part in the parliamentary election campaign by supporting other democratic candidates, Logvinets said.

“Alexander Milinkevich believes that he could be much more useful if he helps candidates in the election campaign than if he runs himself,” Logvinets said.

Pictured here: President Lukashenko, who is close friends with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and CPRF Chairman Gennady Zyuganov, as well as being an advocate of restoring the Soviet Union, attends previous Independence Day ceremony in Minsk yesterday.

The likelihood that today’s Minsk concert bombing is a Belarusian KGB provocation is very high in view of the anti-opposition, anti-USA propaganda that floods state television. In the weeks prior to the 2006 presidential election, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported last month, the Belarusian KGB arrested four national election monitors–Mikalay Astreyka, Alyaksandr Shalayka, Tsimafey Dranchuk, and Enira Branitskaya–on charges of terrorist activities. The same source reveals that “On June 9, Belarusian Television alleged that Ukraine hosts two camps in which ‘Belarusian militants’ are being prepared for some unspecified but evidently hostile tasks in Belarus. According to the station, the instructors at these camps are Ukrainian nationalists who have gained their experience in ‘hot spots’ in the post-Soviet area.” The charges emanating from Minsk against Ukraine play well into the hands of the Soviet strategists who are portraying Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s “Orange Revolution” regime in Kiev as yet another front for anti-Russian, Western-based interests.

Analysis: Belarusian Television Airs Anti-U.S., Anti-Opposition Propaganda Series
June 15, 2008
By RFE/RL analyst Jan Maksymiuk

A political protest in Minsk in 2006 (epa)The government-controlled Belarusian Television showed a three-part documentary last week titled “Network,” in which it accused U.S. pro-democracy funds of financing the Belarusian opposition and sponsoring a coup d’etat in Belarus.

Many Belarusian commentators concluded that the authorities, in their idiosyncratic way, have just started a propaganda campaign for parliamentary elections due to be held this fall. If so, then the distinctive feature of this campaign seems to be the official message that this time it is Washington that is the main ill-wisher of the Belarusian people and the principal sinister operator supporting the Belarusian opposition.

‘Belarusian Militants’

On June 9, Belarusian Television alleged that Ukraine hosts two camps in which “Belarusian militants” are being prepared for some unspecified but evidently hostile tasks in Belarus. According to the station, the instructors at these camps are Ukrainian nationalists who have gained their experience in “hot spots” in the post-Soviet area.

Belarusian Television also reported that the Washington-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) — an organization promoting democracy worldwide — is among the sponsors of these camps.

Former NDI Director Nelson Ledsky tells RFE/RL that the report is absurd. “It is totally false,” he says. “The National Democratic Institute has nothing to do with it, has no training camps in Ukraine or in Belarus, and has not participated in any activities of the kind you described.”

According to Ledsky, the NDI supported election monitors in Belarus in the past but ceased to do so several years ago when these people “got into trouble with the law.”

Indeed, in the run-up to the presidential election in 2006, the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) arrested four Belarusian election monitors — Mikalay Astreyka, Alyaksandr Shalayka, Tsimafey Dranchuk, and Enira Branitskaya — on charges of pursuing activities related to terrorism.

Subsequently, the four were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to two years.
On June 10, Belarusian Television added the Washington-based International Republican Institute to its list of sponsors making trouble in Belarus.

Hidden Enemies

Alyaksandr Klaskouski, a political commentator from Minsk, tells RFE/RL’s Belarus Service that the Belarusian government does not even try to be original, and replicates the propagandistic cliches used many times in the past.

“In general, everything is being made under a traditional propaganda prescription,” Klaskouski says. “From this point of view, there is nothing new. The main idea that is being imposed on the audience is that we are surrounded by enemies weaving plots and wanting to shatter our stability, so one needs to be vigilant and stand firm by the authorities [who] secure this stability.”

Shortly before the 2006 presidential election in Minsk, then-KGB Chairman Stsyapan Sukharenka asserted during a news conference that opposition activists were planning to detonate explosives in a crowd at one of their postelection protests in Minsk and blame the authorities for the resulting bloodshed. According to Sukharenka, “militants” from Georgia, Ukraine, and former Yugoslav republics assisted the Belarusian opposition in making this plot happen.

And Sukharenka showed a film in which an unidentified man — allegedly trained to cause problems in Belarus by the said “militants” — confessed that he had intended to poison the water-supply system in Minsk with dead rats on the eve of the presidential election.

Is this sort of antiopposition propaganda effective? And what are its main objectives?

Andrey Rasinski, a film critic from Minsk, says the effectiveness of such films is limited, but adds that there is still an audience in Belarus that listens to such stories.

Main Target: Washington

“The objectives [of such propaganda films] are fairly traditional — to paralyze society, smear political opponents with dirt as much as possible, and make it impossible for opposition politicians to gain trust among the people,” Rasinski says. “This is an absolutely traditional, standard model.”

Klaskouski underscores the fact that, in contrast to previous political campaigns in Belarus — the presidential elections in 2001 and 2006 and the parliamentary elections coupled with a constitutional referendum in 2004 — this time the official propaganda machine has somewhat hushed up its anti-Western rhetoric by solely targeting the United States.

“The United States and U.S. institutes appear to be the main wicked force in this series, which is, so to say, a sort of justification for the current diplomatic war [with Washington] and, in general, for the fact that [Minsk’s] relations with the West have reached an impasse,” he says.

After a series of diplomatic expulsions initiated by the Belarusian side, there are five U.S. diplomats in Minsk and the same number of Belarusian diplomats in Washington.

Belarusian-U.S. relations seem to be at their lowest point historically. And one can hardly expect that they will improve before September 28, when elections are to be held.

>EU/Asia Files: Turkish police arrest suspected coup plotters, including two retired generals; ruling AKP party denies plans for Islamic theocracy

>Russian Foreign Minister Visits Turkey One Day After Coup Plotters Nabbed

On July 1 Turkish authorities arrested 21 suspected coup plotters, including two retired senior generals, journalists, and politicians. Pictured above: Alleged anti-government conspirator retired General Hursit Tolon arrives for a medical check in Ankara on Monday. The intriguers are alleged members of the shadowy nationalist, secularist Ergenekon organization, which is critical of the ruling, pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül. A slow-motion coup was allegedly planned, beginning with engineered protests and riots across Turkey on July 7, culminating in the assassination of members of the judiciary. Turkey’s Constitutional Court is currently reviewing the legal status of the government party, which holds a solid majority in the Grand National Assembly.

Turkey probes coup plot, ruling party in court
Thu Jul 3, 2008 3:07pm BST
By Hidir Goktas and Selcuk Gokoluk

ANKARA, July 3 (Reuters) – Documents seized by Turkish police indicate that a shadowy, ultra-nationalist illegal organisation planned to trigger a coup to unseat the government, newspapers reported on Thursday.

The reports come as the governing AK Party defended itself in court against charges of trying to establish an Islamic state. The party could be closed down, a move that might lead to an early parliamentary election.

Turkish financial markets recovered some of their losses, but the events concerned investors, who fear prolonged political tensions in the European Union-applicant country.

Turkey has had four military coups in the last 50 years.

Turkish media said a secret plan, including launching illegal protests on July 7 across 40 provinces and clashes with security forces, had been seized during a police swoop on suspected members of the so-called Ergenekon organisation.

Twenty-one people, including two retired senior generals, journalists and politicians, were detained on Tuesday for links to the group suspected of trying to engineer a military takeover. All were critics of the government.

Two of the detainees were brought before an Istanbul court on Thursday. Police declined to comment on the case.

As a result of the recent detentions, tension between Turkey’s secular establishment and the AKP is reaching the boiling point,” said Wolfango Piccoli, an analyst at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group.”Regardless of which camp will prevail at the end, the price is likely to be high for Turkey’s social and political stability,” Piccoli said in a research note.

The fresh detentions revived a debate in Turkey over whether the allegations of a coup against the AK Party held water or were used to suppress government opponents, newspapers said.

“We in the AK Party will continue to make the maximum efforts to prevent this sensitive process from being transformed in any way into a political wrangle,” AK Party deputy chairman Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat told a news conference.

MOUNTING PRESSURE

Opposition parties criticised the handling of the case.
“Distinguished people from various segments of society, known to oppose the government, have been detained one after the other,” said Turkey’s main opposition leader Deniz Baykal.

“There is a suspicion in society that it is turning out to be a political revenge process rather than a legal process.”

Yeni Safak, a religious-leaning daily, said the seized documents also showed plans to kill members of the judiciary.

An indictment has already been brought against 48 people, including retired army officers, lawyers and politicians, arrested over the past year as part of the Ergenekon probe.”

Ergenekon may be a criminal organisation, and so should be prosecuted, but with its sloppy organisation and old men in charge it remains highly doubtful this was anything very serious,” said Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based expert on Turkish security issues.

Political analysts say the likelihood of the AK Party being closed down has increased since the Constitutional Court last month overturned a government-led move to allow students to wear the Islamic headscarf at university.

The chief prosecutor of the Court of Appeals also wants 71 leading political figures, including Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, banned from party membership for five years.

“We will try to finish (our oral defence) today,” AK Party deputy group chairman Bekir Bozdag told reporters.

The AK Party has called for the Constitutional Court to dismiss the case. A ruling is most likely expected in August.

The EU has criticised the closure case, saying such political issues should be debated in parliament and decided through the ballot box, not in the courts.

Turkey has long been divided along ideological and religious lines, stemming back to the foundation of modern Turkey on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. The republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk removed religion from public life and redirected Turkey towards the West.

The secularist elite, including generals, judges and professors, see it as their duty to defend secularism and now accuse the AK Party of seeking to relax the strict separation of state and religion.

The AK Party, a pro-business, reform-driven party with roots in political Islam, denies the charges and points to its record in office as proof.

Source: Reuters

Turkey is an applicant for membership in the European Union and is cautiously considering membership in French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposed Mediterranean Union, to be inaugurated in Paris on July 13. Beginning on July 1 and continuing until the end of the year, the French head of state is also President of the European Union. “The EU,” the article reports above” has criticised the [AKP] closure case, saying such political issues should be debated in parliament and decided through the ballot box, not in the courts.”

The day after the coup plotters were arrested Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov coincidentally (or not) arrived in Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders. High on the agenda for the Soviets was ensuring that Turkey, which is a nominal US ally and NATO member, defends Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for “peaceful purposes.” Pictured above: Lavrov (left) meets Turkish President Gul (right). On Wednesday Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan made the following comments about bilateral relations between his country and Russia: “Our objective for Turkey-Russia relations is a multidimensional and intensified partnership. Both sides have the willingness to further improve bilateral relations as they have considerable affinities in their approaches regarding international and regional issues.” Since Moscow has already infiltrated its moles into the NATO hierarchy and entire “post”-communist states into both NATO and the EU, Turkey’s accession to the latter actually facilitates East-West convergence, the primary and preferred objective of the Soviet strategists over war with the Western Alliance.

>End Times File: British, French, Australian, and Indian truckers paralyze commerce in latest fuel protests; oil rises to record high of US$144

>Today the price for crude oil per barrel attained a record-high of US$144 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, portending convulsions in the world’s capitalist economies, much to the delight of communists everywhere. “It’s a combination of things,” commented Phil Flynn, analyst at Chicago’s Alaron Trading Corp. “People are buying oil because they’re worried about tight supplies, the weak dollar, war breaking out in Iran. It doesn’t look like any of this stuff is going to settle down any time soon.”

Truckers outraged by rising gasoline and diesel prices are once again paralyzing traffic in major cities in Europe, Asia, and Australia in order to express their displeasure with governments and the petroleum industry. The Times reports today that British “Lorry drivers could bring London to a standstill today in what hauliers claim will be the biggest protest against fuel prices.” The same source continues:

Up to 1,000 drivers from across the country are expected to descend on the capital in a last-ditch attempt to convey their desperation over rising petrol and diesel costs and fuel duty. Backed for the first time by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the lobby group TransAction 2007 and the Transport Association, the drivers plan to line their lorries along a closed-section of the A40 Westway. Under police control, a series of convoys, each of 10 to 30 lorries will then move into central London while a delegation of hauliers marches to Parliament.

Pictured above: British lorry drivers bring traffic to a standstill on the A40 near London.

Two days ago, AFP reported, French truckers staged a second protest against high fuel prices: “Hundreds of truckers staged new protests against high fuel prices across France on Monday, blocking main highways and snarling commuter traffic around Paris. Between 2,000 and 3,000 trucks took part in the demonstrations, according to the National Transport Operators Federation (FNTR), the industry’s main body with 12,500 members. ‘Our actions have been very successful, mainly in the Paris region,’ FNTR president Patrick Vermot-Desroches told Europe 1 radio.”

Various news agencies report that “Fuel protests spread to Australia on Tuesday, with truckers blocking commuter highways to rally against rising oil prices. About 100 truckers arrived on the main highway from Newcastle to Sydney, driving below the speed limit to clog the traffic.”

Finally, reports Bloomberg, “Indian truckers, who haul the majority of the nation’s goods, went on strike today to protest against taxes and rising fuel costs, a union official said.” The strike may be indefinite, warns the trucker’s union, leading to more food shortages and still higher inflation:

More than 4 million heavy and light commercial vehicles are staying off the nation’s roads from today after talks with the government to avert the strike failed last night, said Charan Singh Lohara, president of the All India Motor Transport Congress, an umbrella organization representing the truckers. The strike, which the union said could be extended indefinitely, may cause shortages and hamper the transportation of food articles and manufactured products. That may thwart efforts by India’s central bank and government to curb inflation running at the fastest pace in 13 years.

In Bangladesh today communists urged the country’s caretaker government to cancel planned fuel price hikes. Since the reds actually stand to gain by the revolutionary situation created by economic and social chaos, such “humanitarian” pleas are probably designed to woo the voting masses into their camp.

>Asia File: Malaysia’s communist-backed center-left opposition leader battles second sodomy charge, vows to seize power from long-ruling National Front

>Malaysia’s 14-party coalition known as the National Front (BN) is dominated by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which is moderate Islamist in orientation, and has governed the country since 1963. The pro-Islamic center-left People’s Pact, consisting of the socialist Democratic Action Party, “progressive” People’s Justice Party (PKR), and Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which supports the institution of an Islamic theocracy in Malaysia, made significant gains in the March general election, but failed to dislodge the BN from power. In previous elections the BN always secured a two-thirds supermajority in the Malaysian Parliament.

In an effort to foment unrest against the government, which is already beset with the challenges posed by the global fuel-food crisis, PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim declared to 15,000 supporters in Kuala Lumpur today that “The BN government cannot be trusted to manage the economy of this country because there is too much corruption. Time is up, you get out, let us move in! They are still in a state of denial now that we have wrested so much power from them.”

In response, Malaysia’s National Front regime is seeking to thwart a center-left victory at the next election by once again throwing sodomy charges against former UMNO member and deputy prime minister Ibrahim. During the Asian financial crisis in 1997 Ibrahim, in his capacity as finance minister under then Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, supported the International Monetary Fund’s plan for recovery. In a speech during the first legal proceedings against him in 2000, he condemned the prosecution for being politically motivated: “I objected to the use of massive public funds to rescue the failed businesses of his [Mahathir’s] children and cronies.”

Malaysia’s Anwar tells huge rally he will seize power
July 2, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has vowed to seize power from a “corrupt” government at a rally of some 15,000 supporters as he fights back against new sodomy accusations.

In an impassioned speech to a packed stadium Tuesday night, Anwar said it was time to boot out the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition which has governed Malaysia for a half a century since independence from Britain.

“The BN government cannot be trusted to manage the economy of this country because there is too much corruption,” he told the crowd which shouted the opposition battlecry of “Reformasi” or “Reform”.

“Time is up, you get out, let us move in!” Anwar said to loud cheers.

Anwar, a former deputy premier who was sacked a decade ago and spent six years in prison on sodomy and corruption counts, made a stunning return to politics in March elections that dealt the BN an unprecedented setback.

The 60-year-old political maverick said the new accusations of sexual assault by a 23-year-old male aide who volunteered in his office for several months “never happened”.

“I will fight these allegations day and night and I won’t accept defeat over these evil lies,” he said. Sodomy is a criminal offence in this conservative and predominantly Muslim country.

Despite Anwar’s fighting words, his Keadilan party said Wednesday it was making a contingency plan to run the three-member opposition alliance in case he was taken into custody.

“Anwar wants to ensure that things can continue without him and we will have this plan ready shortly in that eventuality,” said information chief Tian Chua. “The whole leadership must be prepared to face an alliance without (him).”

Anwar has said he is poised to form a government with the help of defecting lawmakers from the ruling coalition, putting intense pressure on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who faces calls to quit over the polls debacle.

“They are still in a state of denial now that we have wrested so much power from them,” Anwar told the crowd, adding he had evidence that the government was mounting a conspiracy to humiliate him.

The stadium in suburban Kuala Lumpur was decorated with posters showing Anwar with a black eye, inflicted in a severe beating by the police chief shortly after his sacking.

“Don’t let this happen again,” read the caption.

Anwar fled to the Turkish embassy on the weekend, saying he feared for his life after being informed he could be targeted with a government assassination attempt.

He left his refuge on Monday after the government guaranteed his safety, but precautions were tight at the rally and he was separated from the crowd by metal barricades and security personnel along its perimeter.

Anwar also took aim at the government’s unpopular 41 percent fuel price hike this month, and invited the crowd to take part in a major anti-inflation rally on July 6 which organisers hope will attract one million people.

“I promise that the day we take power, the very next day oil prices will drop in Malaysia,” he said.

Tian Chua said the turnout at the rally would be “massive” in light of the recent political drama.

“It will be a combination of the petrol hike and price rises and it is aimed at showing the government that the people are very unhappy with the way the prime minister is running this country,” he said.

Opposition supporters in the crowd said their faith in the charismatic leader was not shaken by the new scandal.

“All these allegations against Anwar are false and the government is grasping at straws to try and destroy him, but this will not work,” said Adlin Syufikah Ismail.

“The people are 100 percent behind Anwar,” said the 31-year-old marketing executive, dressed in a blue Muslim headscarf and traditional flowing dress.

Pictured here: At the 2008 party congress the leadership of the Socialist Party of Malaysia demonstrates its commitment to the revolutionary terrorism of deceased Argentine communist Che Guevara.

Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party was formed in 2003 by a merger of the National Justice Party and the Malaysian People’s Party, formerly known as the Malaysian People’s Socialist Party (PSRM). During the PSRM’s congress in 1989 the leadership decided to drop the name “socialist,” a new policy that provoked a dissenting faction to openly organize the communist Socialist Party of Malaysia nine years later. The PSM, which was only legalized by the federal government in June 2008, fielded three candidates on the People’s Justice Party ticket and one as an independent in the March general election. Candidate Jeyakumar Devaraj obtained the PSM’s first-ever federal parliamentary seat, while candidate Nasir Hashim obtained a seat in the Selangor state legislative assembly.

Following the election Australia’s Green Left Weekly interviewed S. Arutchelvan, PSM secretary general, who explained that Malaysia’s communists planned to work with leftist elements within the three parties comprising the People’s Pact in order to advance socialist revolution:

The left within the PKR is very weak, but these are the people we have to work with. There is also a left component within the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP). It is also a testing time for the PSM to service our base areas in Sungai Siput, Jelapang, Semenyih and Kota Damansara and see how we can build our local power base with the people and see if it can be a model for PSM to play a bigger role nationally, in the future.

The Malaysian Communist Party gave up its armed struggle in 1989, first directed against the Japanese occupational army and later the British colonial government. A peace agreement signed by the MCP and the governments of Malaysia and Thailand permitted MCP cadres to return to civilian life in those countries. That the Socialist Party of Malaysia is carrying on the legacy of the old PCM is evident in the interview of PSM cadre “Comrade Kohila” published by In Defense of Marxism. In her responses “Comrade Kohila” revealed that Malaysia’s new generation of communists maintain links with like-minded revolutionaries in Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand and, moreover, view Hugo Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution” in Venezuela as “very positive.”

We are a socialist party coming from a Marxist-Leninist tradition and we do work with the people. We started off with a plantation workers’ committee but we moved on to build the workers’ movement in Malaysia itself.

Our programme is a socialist programme and we defend socialist policies. Our people who stand in the elections declare their assets. We fight for people’s rights, housing policies, land reforms. We work with the people and have an agreement with them: our candidates give them a “letter of resignation” and if we don’t do our work properly they can send the letter back to us and sack us. It is a kind of right of recall.

We are firm internationalists, although we don’t align ourselves with one particular group. The struggle is an international struggle. We are successfully building our base in Malaysia itself with the Socialist Party but we also have contacts abroad with other groups and we try to build links especially with other groups in South East Asia such as in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand.

On our part, we know what is going on in Venezuela and we see it as an inspiration. People can label it whatever they want but we think what is happening in Venezuela is very positive. Some call it the “socialism of the 21st century”. The revolution is moving forward and the changes that are taking place are very inspiring to all of us.

>Asia File: Mongolia’s "ex"-communist regime declares state of emergency as 8,000 protestors reject election results, torch ruling party HQ

>Five Dead, 329 Injured in Tuesday’s Riots in Mongolian Capital

Even though the Kremlin dispatched its election monitors to pronounce Sunday’s parliamentary election “free and fair,” Mongolians who oppose the long-ruling “ex”-communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) are apparently not convinced. Yesterday, 8,000 supporters of the opposition Democratic Party took to the streets in protest, looting and burning the MPRP headquarters (pictured above). Excerpts from one MSM report follow:

Armed soldiers patrolled the tense streets of Mongolia’s capital Wednesday amid a state of emergency that was imposed after protests over alleged vote-rigging left five people dead.

The government vowed it would prevent further unrest after Tuesday’s upheaval, when around 8,000 people stormed through the centre of Ulan Bator, destroying buildings, torching cars and pelting police with rocks. Five people were killed and 329 people injured in the protests, Justice Minister Tsend Munkh-Orgil told reporters, adding that police had fired tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the unrest but that they had been overwhelmed.

After Democrats leader Tsakhia Elbegdorj alleged the MPRP had cheated its way to a supposed win, its supporters took to the streets in protest.

The Soviet-era headquarters of the MPRP, a concrete five-storey structure in the centre of town, was set alight and looted.

As the protests erupted, Prime Minister Sanjagiin Bayar, of the MPRP, accused the Democrats and Elbegdorj of inciting the violence.

“The other party is accusing us of buying the election. It’s not true, the election was free and fair,” he said from the MPRP headquarters before it was ransacked.

Elbegdorj bluntly accused the MPRP in a press conference on Tuesday of “illegal activities” to rob the Democrats of victory.

“People voted for democracy. Ask eight of 10 people and they will say they voted for the Democratic Party. We lost because… corrupt people changed the results,” he told reporters.

“This was a dark moment in the history of Mongolia.”

The fact that former Soviet-educated prime minister Elbegdorj is responsible for inciting the mobs is noteworthy since we strongly suspect that he is little more than a potemkin politician under the covert control of the Moscow Leninists and their henchmen in Ulan Bator. The MPRP has effectively controlled Mongolia since 1921.